By Ed Odeven
TOKYO (Dec. 25, 2018) — It’s been years since George Foreman and Larry Merchant worked together on HBO’s boxing telecasts. Both brought unique, valuable insights to every telecast.
Those shows are now a thing of the past. HBO ended its boxing coverage a few weeks ago after a 45-year-association with the sport.
Foreman’s brief thoughts on Merchant the analyst and newspaper writer were not included in a recent reporting series. The three-part series (below) focused on numerous other topics.
Instead, Foreman’s insights appear here.
“Larry Merchant almost resurrected Howard Cosell as far as controversy in the things he said. Almost,” Foreman said in a 2018 phone interview. “Larry Merchant was almost Howard Cosell, but not quite. Larry Merchant was a better newspaper reporter than he’d ever become an announcer, though.”
But Foreman knew that Merchant had made a profound impact as a reporter, columnist and editor before their days together at HBO.
Foreman said this: “Archie Moore told me, ‘Listen, always respect this man. Always respect him because he spoke the right things when it was important and necessary.’ ”
“That’s the only time he ever instructed me about reporters,” Foreman said of The Mongoose.