HBO boxing is now history, with the final card coming last night in California. Veteran play-by-play man Jim Lampley gave his thoughts on his career with the network, and now we give you the same from Roy Jones Jr, who tied with Oscar De La Hoya for the most fights on HBO airwaves ever, and also worked for years as a commentator.
Here’s what he told Fight Hub TV:
“Man, tonight has been a very difficult night, because it marks the end of a great career in and out of the ring. My career was pretty much all on HBO, I didn’t have a fight on Showtime. Me and Oscar are tied for the most appearances on HBO. My life was boxing, and HBO was the best in boxing when I started boxing. If you got to HBO, you made it! And by getting to HBO, not only did I make it as a fighter, I also made it as a commentator.
“To see the whole thing go away after all these years, it’s kinda tough. Now you know what the Chicago Bulls felt like when Michael Jordan had to depart. Now you know what the Pittsburgh Steelers felt like when that great wall had to break up. Now you know what great Laker teams feel like when they gotta break up. Now we’re in a process where we gotta break up. It’s, like, it don’t get no better than that, but time says we gotta break up. We did our thing and we gotta move on now.”
“It’s just hard to express the feeling, because the feeling is a very deep — not necessarily a hurting feeling, because it’s a good feeling, because that’s something that people are not gonna be able to top. It’s really a beautiful accomplishment, but it’s like seeing somebody die. You know they’re going to heaven which is a better place than being here, but you hate that they gotta leave because you’re gonna miss them. You become selfish, almost. We hate that it’s gonna end, because we’re gonna miss them, but sometimes it’s for the better.”
“I love boxing, I’ll always do everything I can to give back to the sport. If commentary is a situation where I can give back, then of course I will. But I don’t know. I never asked for this job, I kinda just got it. I stepped in for Pernell Whitaker and I was good at it, so I got this job. I don’t ask people for commentary jobs, but if someday says, ‘can you come work with us?’ I’ll check it out. If I like it, I’ll do it. If it don’t work, it don’t work. So I don’t know. If there’s a place that starts to do fights to the caliber that’s expected from me, then why not? If it happens, OK. If it don’t happen, I’m not trippin’.”
“Boxing’s definitely in good hands. Boxing’s growing. More networks are into boxing right now than in a long time. Boxing networks are spending more money than in a long time. Boxing’s definitely in good hands, but when the top (network) drops out, it’s kinda difficult to deal with.”