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March 19, 2013 3PM EST

Q&A with Jim Lampley

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  • Q

    Thank you Jim Lampley for joining us today! Jim, what did you think of Bradley vs. Provodnikov?

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    A
    Jim Lampley says:

    A great fight. Not exactly what we had expected. I think it was a far hotter combustion than had been anticipated because it seemed to me that Bradley wanted to engage in a physical fight, wanted to seek a KO, wanted to try to make a statement to replace the impression that was left behind by the controversial decision win vs. Pacquiao. Making that choice, he conspired to produce a rugged, all out brawl.

  • Q

    Jim! I fear the day.. have you considered retirment? how long do we have to listen to you ccall the blow by blow action. holla bak

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    A
    Jim Lampley says:

    Well that's up to the people who employ me! Assuming they don't pull the rug out from under me any time soon, I don't think I'm on the verge of walking away. With any luck, to me, I'm thinking there's maybe 10 or 12 more years at this! I'm not in a hurry, I love calling the fights.

  • Q

    will Timothy Bradley ever be the same after the violent brutality he suffered at the hands of the Siberian Rocky?

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    Jim Lampley says:

    Well it's a common cliche to say that a fighter will never be the same after that kind of fight. When he candidly said he had a concussion, he showed something which is a constant and difficult element of the sport. He took a lot of physical punishment in the fight. I don't think we're anywhere close to seeing the end of Bradley's boxing career. He's brilliant at training and getting himself into spectacular condition. He's a very responsible down to earth, family man. I can't imagine that he would do something irresponsible. His career is in the most marketable place it's ever been in as of this moment. I fully expect to see him in 6-9 months. I don't think I want to see him sooner than that, but in 6-9 months we're going to see the same Timothy Bradley we saw before.

  • Q

    Jim, could you tell us a little bit about your personal relationship with Larry Merchant? I know that I and many other boxing fans will certainly miss his expert commentary. Thank you.

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    Jim Lampley says:

    Well Larry was in many ways my mentor in the boxing world. I learned from him every day of the 25 years that we worked together and I am very proud to say that in addition to being mutually supportive professional colleagues, we are and will always be very close personal friends. There's no one whom I respect more as a human being and no one from whom I've learned more-- both as a boxing reporter and sports journalist in general. His contributions are immeasurable and I'm sure that Max Kellerman would be the first to tell you that no one can replace Larry Merchant. Max does and will do a fantastic job in his role as analyst, but Max is Larry's biggest fan and, again, he would be the first to say that no one can replace him.

  • Q

    . How does a figher become a fan favorite ? what decides how successful a fighter will be in the sport?

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    Jim Lampley says:

    A fighter becomes a fan favorite by recognizing and catering to the essential ethic of risk-- which is the heart of this competitive sport. Fans who follow boxing can easily identify those fighters who seek risky competition, who legitimately want to test themselves to find out if they can be the best, and who aren't just polishing a record for the intention of having some gaudy bauble to be proud of but are rather putting themselves on the line for the entertainment of boxing fans. One of the things I emphasize in my individual show The Fight Game with Jim Lampley is that this sport is the culture of risk. Fighters who avoid it won't have fans. Fighters who embrace is will be loved by the public.

  • Q

    Jim, how did your new series "The Fight Game" come about? Did HBO approach you about doing it or was it primarily your own creation? It's a great show. Keep it up!

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    Jim Lampley says:

    Thank you! It came about as I was discussing a general sports show with HBO Sports that could go alongside Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel in covering the broad panorama of sports. During those discussions, HBO noted that HBO Sports fans needed a boxing-specific show, which was music to my ears! I was uniquely positioned to host and produce such a show and I instantly and eagerly said yes to their suggestion.

  • Q

    Jim, what is the best fight that u have ever covered for HBO?

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    A
    Jim Lampley says:

    No way to pick one. I've covered hundreds of prize fightson HBO-- dozens of truly great fights. Obviously, in my position, you would site the first fight in the Gatti-Ward trilogy, the 1st or 3rd in Guerrero-Morales trilogy, Holyfield vs. Klitschko 1st time around-- off the top of my head. There are a variety of others that would rank in the same league. I could go on all day, but there's no way to pick any one fight as the greatest ever.

  • Q

    Congratulations on the victory Bradley! Jim, do you think Bradley will ever have a chance to be the main fight in a PPV again?

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    A
    Jim Lampley says:

    That depends on who he fights. Bradley was the "B-side" in the Manny Pacquiao PPV. Whether Bradley can become the "A-side" depends on where he goes from here and what happens. Right now he's at the center of a nucleus which includes himself, Provodnikov, Rios, Alvarado, and others who may enter that picture over the next years. To become the linchpin attraction, I think that Bradley has to emerge from that grouping as the "main guy." This woudl mean a win over the winner of the Rios-Alvarado match, or some other high-quality win which further reinforces his value for boxing fans. i don't think he is quite yet at the level of being the central element of a PPV attraction, but good money was made in the Pacquiao-Bradley fight. His entertainment value certainly increased because of the nature of the fight with Provodnikov. The path to bigger prominence is still there and possible for Timothy Bradley.

  • Q

    With great performances coming from both fighters, Bradley and Provodnikov, who do you see as their next opponents for each fighter?

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    A
    Jim Lampley says:

    Well, you never know what is going to happen in this business. It's very difficult to predict what deals could be made. The logical path, as I see it, would be for Bradley to fight the winner of the Rios-Alvarado rematch, and Provodnikov to fight the loser of the Rios-Alvarado rematch on the under card of that same attraction-- a double header, and then you would have the option of matching the winners against each other, or seeking other opposition for whoever wins those fights. I believe that while it's possible that Timothy Bradley could become a PPV centerpiece, it may be more possible that that happens for Rios if he keeps winning, because Rios' style is predictable, a repeating phenomenon, and the one style that boxing fans love to watch. It will make Rios extraordinarily popular if he keeps winning.

  • Q

    That's all the time we have for today. Thanks so much for joining us, Jim. Boxing heads can tune in Sunday 3/24 for the Bradley-Provodnikov replay at 10:35PM before Road to Rios-Alvarado II. Jim, do you have any final words for boxing fans?

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    A
    Jim Lampley says:

    Boxing is more about competition than personality. It's one thing to attempt to build a star persona through media appearances and the cultivation of an appealing or provocative personality, but nothing is as indelible and as valuable for fight fans as great fights, and head to head competition in which fighters are truly despot and their level of risk and performance under pressure goes to a higher level. That's what attracts fan. That's what we got Saturday night. That's what we're looking to continue to provide in the future.

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