“And now the rules with our unofficial ringside scorer, Harold Lederman…”—Jim Lampley
“Harold, how do you have it after five?”—Lampley
“Jim, I gotta tell ya, this guy better start punching; I can’t give him a round until he does.”—Lederman
“Contrary to widespread speculation, Lederman does not believe that nefarious activity played a role in the Bradley-Pacquiao result.”—Lem Satterfield (The Ring)
“There is no sign of him slowing down. Being able to recall fights with such detail and color speaks to his brilliance and deep-rooted love for the sweet science, which I share. Boxing is both our oxygen and without it we are unable to breathe…Like 67-year-old Mick Jagger who is still lighting up the stage and strutting his stuff, Lederman loves his work and has no concept of the term ‘retirement.’”—George Hanson Jr., Esq. (FightKings)
To the best of my knowledge, no full time boxing judge has ever been inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Some referees who also served as judges have been inducted such as Stanley Christodoulou, but no full-time judge. Artists, observers, writers, and announcers (none of whom can impact the outcome of a fight) have been inducted, but no full-time judge. It’s time to rectify this and who better to be the groundbreaker than Harold Lederman.
This 72-year-old sweetheart of a man (some might call him a Mensch) provides one of the continuing high spots in a business that deals mostly in lows. Like the old Sara Lee advertisement use to say “nobody doesn’t like Sara Lee,” nobody doesn’t like Harold Lederman. If humility and passion are worth money, then Harold is a billionaire. Harold always has time to talk about boxing and has a way of making everyone he talks to feel on the same level. However, he is an astute student of the game—not only from a judging and rules perspective—and can go toe-to-toe with just about any aficionado when it comes to historical discussions and fights of yore. Harold is far from perfect, no judge is perfect, but part of his appeal is his imperfection and the fact that he will never back away from controversial calls—even when no one else agrees with him.
Now I can make an extremely strong case for Lederman’s induction by comparing him to those already in the Hall and using a benchmark approach, but that in my view diminishes Harold. He deserves induction based on his own merits and on his considerable body of work. In this sense, the most compelling thing I can say about this great boxing judge is that he has given high honor to his craft.
Harold is a New Yorker though and through. He was born in the Bronx and graduated from prestigious Columbia University in New York City. Upon graduation in 1962, he joined the Army Reserves, spending six months at Fort Dix before returning to work at his father’s drug store as a full-fledged pharmacist like his dad. Lederman would serve another eight years in the Army Reserves, doing weekend duties while maintaining his responsibilities at work. Speaking of his father, it was during the 1940s and ‘50s that his father Samuel, a boxing aficionado, would take young Harold to outdoor boxing matches at Long Beach Stadium. Lederman quickly fell in love with the sweet science—and the rest is history.
In June 1967, he earned a license from New York’s State Athletic Commission to judge title fights and did so throughout the world, while at the same time maintaining his successful pharmacy practice in New York (from which I believe he has now retired). In 1986 HBO executive producer Ross Greenburg invited Harold to join HBO’s World Championship Boxing as an “expert commentator,” and he has been a staple of the team ever since. Lederman retired from active judging in 1999 but has remained with HBO as “unofficial ringside scorer,” and more recently has added evaluations of pre-fight judges to his presentation.
Lederman meshes especially well with the equally passionate but far more visible Jim Lampley and Larry Merchant (who has at times disagreed with Harold’s calls). During televised HBO fights, Lampley at certain intervals has Lederman tell the fans what his unofficial card looks like, referring to it as the Lederman scorecard. HBO also runs a graphic at the beginning of each round with Harold’s preceding rounds’ score. In this regard, the shock and awe involved in what Harold, Jim Lampley, the late Emanuel Steward, and most others saw during the Pacquiao-Bradley fight on June 9, 2012 and what the judges ruled will remain an indelible memory—if not palpable grist for conspiracy theorists and boxing snipers. Steward said he was “dumbfounded.” Lampley signed off the telecast by proclaiming he’s “seldom been more befuddled by a decision and I think it was flat out wrong.” An incredulous Harold had it 119 to 109 for Manny.
Many, like ESPN commentator Teddy Atlas, were harsh in their criticism of the verdict. “I saw it,” said Atlas. “I think you saw it. I think that even the HBO commentators saw it. I think the fan base saw it. But unfortunately, the most important people in the crowd that were supposed to see it, the judges, for some reason, they didn’t see it…I think there should be accountability. I think there should be a scoring of judges—you know a disciplinarian sort of board that holds them accountable for their decisions. We don’t have that, and if we don’t have that, and we continue to not have that, guess what? We’re going to continue to have these kinds of discussions about fights that we thought the other guy should’ve won.”
Being true to form, Harold was a tad more temperate when he asserted, “Realistically, they (the judges) may have blown the call, but I don’t think that anything untoward went on…I just think that they called it the way that they supposedly saw it.” Perhaps this temperate approach is why he is so respected by his peers and why he has earned more awards than Carter has pills.
However, make no mistake, the pharmacist is no company man; he calls them as he sees them. Thus, when confrontational Larry Merchant and equally confrontational Floyd Mayweather Jr. tangled after he dispatched Victor Ortiz and Floyd told Merchant, “You ain’t shit…All of these boxing experts—how can you be a boxing expert if you never had a fight before,” Lederman quickly had the octogenarian’s back, calling Floyd’s behavior disgraceful. Thankfully, Floyd later apologized to Merchant and the two have since made their peace.
Already a member of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame, he was one of 20 inductees in the inaugural class of the newly formed New York State Boxing Hall of Fame in April. This Hall is separate and apart from the International Hall located in Canastota, New York. At the award ceremony Harold said “From this moment on, all who contributed to boxing in our state will not be forgotten. New York is still a mecca of boxing. It’s just a marvelous class of inductees.” He went on to say that the induction was the biggest honor of his career.
Among his fellow inductees were such luminaries as Mike Tyson, Jake LaMotta, Carmen Basilio, Riddick Bowe, Carlos Ortiz, Emile Griffith, Mike McCallum, and the late Gene Tunney, Benny Leonard and Tony Canzoneri. Non-participant inductees included coach/instructor Steve Acunto, trainer/cutman Jimmy Glenn and, posthumously, trainers Gil Clancy and Ray Arcel, The Ring Magazine founder Nat Fleischer, New York Daily News boxing reporter/cartoonist Bill Gallo, and referee Arthur Mercante Sr. The inaugural induction dinner was sponsored by local boxing group Ring 8.
Lederman was given the Sam Taub Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism by the Boxing Writers’ Association of America (BWAA). The award is named after Sam Taub, a journalist and radio broadcaster who is best known for his work covering boxing. The Taub Award is similar to Baseball’s Ford C. Frick Award
The BWAA’s Marvin Kohn Good Guy Award was given to Harold and Alex Ramos in Las Vegas.
Along with fellow HBO partners Jim Lampley, Larry Merchant, and Emanuel Steward (who preceded him as inductees), Harold was inducted into the prestigious World Boxing Hall of Fame “Expanded Category” (Referees, Judges and Timekeepers). The WBHF is located in Riverside, California is one of two recognized international boxing halls of fame.
Harold is also a member of the Rockland County Sports Hall of Fame having been inducted in 1986
Lederman is the first recipient of the Marvin Goldberg Memorial Award for outstanding achievement in boxing from the Max Kase Sports Lodge of B’nai B’rith
In yet another and very recent honor, Lederman will bring his judging expertise to the theater, as he will be one of the judges in the short film category for the upcoming Shadow Box Film Festival. “I am very excited to be involved in this festival,” he said. “I love boxing films and can’t wait to see this year’s selections.” The festival is dedicated entirely to boxing and will take place over two days on November 30 and December 1, 2012, at the SVA Theatre at 333 West 23rd Street in New York City.
This past August, HBO’s “unofficial ringside scorer” visited the IBHOF while he was working the Gennady Golovkin vs. Grzegorz Proska fight at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, just down the road from Canastota. Given his long experience as an active judge in so many premier fights, the visit must have been a nostalgic one (see:http://boxrec.com/list_bouts.php?human_id=400858&;cat=judge) .
Hopefully, the next time Harold Lederman visits Canastota, it will be to receive his due.
Лишь “Выращивание овощей“растерянно кашлянул, на большее меня не хватило.
спросил “Выращивание овощей в защищенном грунте по интенсивным технологиям“Джей после того, “Выращивание овощного гороха“как нанес на карту сообщение Вирджинии.
Я уже “Выращивание рассады“забыл, как они прекрасны.
Он хотел добраться к воде “Выращивание пшеницы и зерновых культур в Украине“до темноты, “Выращивание рассады среднеспелой капусты“напиться, а утром начать все “Выращивание ремонтного молодняка казахской белоголовой породы в зависимости от возраста и живой массы их матерей“снова.
А для жителя Вирту все может быть совсем не так.