It’s been awhile for Jim Lampley since he last sat ringside, shielding his suit coat from blood droplets, and called boxing, blow by blow, for a network.
The ex HBO man, entrenched in the Hall of Fame in Canastota for his ability to communicate the depth, breadth, scope and scene of a pugilism contest to the masses, said that after HBO closed their boxing shop that he’d be open to getting back in the saddle, if the fit was right.
The right fit came around in the form of Triller, the social media platform which has made a heavy entry into the professional prizefighting sphere, having done two boxing PPVs, with a third on the way, June 19. Lampley, a North Carolina native, told RING that he’s pumped up to do his thing, and said that he and Triller hashed out a “multi fight deal.”
“I’m excited, because for my first fight back, I’ll be covering Teofimo Lopez, and to come back and work on the fight featuring one of the sports’ top talents, that’s something,” Lampley told me.
Lightweight ace Lopez (16-0) takes on George Kambosos (19-0) at Miami’s loanDepot park, and puts his IBF, WBC, WBO, WBC and RING straps up for grabs.
Lampley said he didn’t watch the April 17 Triller production, but we can be assured he’s fully cognizant of the Triller ethos. The June 19 production will be headed up by “So You Think You Can Dance” co-creator Nigel Lythgoe and there will be a pre-event concert featuring Meek Mill, Myke Towers, Snoop Dogg and Lunay.
“It is an honor and a privilege to welcome the preeminent voice in boxing, Jim Lampley, to Triller Fight Club,” Ryan Kavanaugh said. “We will blend all the best elements of music, entertainment and sports, and there is no one better to help lead our broadcasts for fans of all ages than Jim.” Kavanaugh has said that this PPV will be angled more so at the boxing purist, and it sounded to me like Lampley is still that guy, he’s interested in maintaining the aura that he fashioned during a 1988 to 2018 run at the premium cable network.
“I am impressed that Triller Fight Club is aggressively seeking to put together the best telecast possible, and it is that mentality that makes Triller the best possible platform for my return to ringside,” said Lampley. “This first telecast features Teofimo Lopez, conqueror of the great Vasiliy Lomachenko and an exciting new talent who has already made a historic mark on the sport. That says it all for me.”
This move represents a rock-solid get for Triller, and will likely serve to stifle a few of the dissenter voices who didn’t think the April 17 production was sufficiently respectful of the hallowed martial art. Lampley did the call for the most thrilling upset in the history of the sport, the Buster Douglas triumph over Mike Tyson in 1990, and he set the scenes for all three Arturo Gatti-Micky Ward clashes.
Any other reaction from the four-time Sports Emmy Award-winner? “Getting into it with Snoop Dogg,” he mused, before reiterating how pleased he was to be back in the flow of prime-time pugilism.
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