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HAROLD LEDERMAN, 1940-2019

Jack Hirsch remembers one of boxing’s most loyal companions
HONESTY: Lederman lashes his score for the 2006 bout between Vernon Forrest and Ike Quartey (won controversially by Forrest on points)
Photo: ED MULHOLLAND/GETTY IMAGES

WHAT is inescapable is that the longer we live the more departures we have to endure. Exits are never pleasant. There is no perfect way to say goodbye. The reward for getting older is offset by watching friends and colleagues leave us before we are ready to see them go. The passing of Harold Lederman, who died on May 11 at the age 79, is particularly difficult. His legacy will be forever linked to HBO, for whom he was their unofficial boxing judge, a position he held from 1986 until they discontinued boxing in 2018. But it was as a goodwill ambassador that Lederman was truly special to me. When HBO was in its heyday Lederman enjoyed celebrity status, yet there were no airs about him, no image he tried to portray. He simply enjoyed going to the fights and talking about boxing and, boy, was he good at talking about boxing. HBO knew how much he loved his gig and that worked against Harold during negotiations. He was forced to maintain his day job as a pharmacist to support his family. Lederman and I were very close. I attended all of his family events and he mine. There would be the frequent phone conversations and the teasing that accompanied it. After an HBO event in which he had rendered a decision, Lederman could expect a phone call from me saying “Harold, what fight were you watching?” And to be Harold’s friend was like having a public relations agent because of the kind words he would say about you to others.

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THE REALLY WILD SHOW – Wilder aims to make a statement against Breazeale STARS IN SCOTLAND – Taylor and Inoue co-headline in their WBSS semi-finals STADIUM STAGE – Saunders is in the spotlight against Isufi up at super-middle MUCH, MUCH MORE – Including major upsets on both sides of the Atlantic