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Best Boxing Commentators of All-Time

Updated on October 3, 2016

The Men Behind The Mic

Al Bernstein interviewing Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach.  Bernstein has called fights for ESPN and Showtime.
Al Bernstein interviewing Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach. Bernstein has called fights for ESPN and Showtime. | Source
Larry Merchant is known to ask fighters the tough questions. He is the best expert commentator in history.
Larry Merchant is known to ask fighters the tough questions. He is the best expert commentator in history. | Source
Howard Cosell Courtesy Ring Magazine 1987. Cosell is known for Telling It Like It Is.
Howard Cosell Courtesy Ring Magazine 1987. Cosell is known for Telling It Like It Is. | Source
Jim Lampley is the best blow by blow man in HBO Boxing history. He has called fights for HBO and ABC.
Jim Lampley is the best blow by blow man in HBO Boxing history. He has called fights for HBO and ABC. | Source
Teddy Atlas is a famous trainer and a commentator for ESPN Friday Night Fights.
Teddy Atlas is a famous trainer and a commentator for ESPN Friday Night Fights. | Source

Where Did He Work?


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The Young Gun!!

Max Kellerman has called boxing in the studio for ESPN and he now calls bouts ringside for HBO.
Max Kellerman has called boxing in the studio for ESPN and he now calls bouts ringside for HBO. | Source

Boxing's Top Ringsiders

There are many great commentators that have graced the sport of boxing but, the ones on this list stand out for several different reasons. I hope you enjoy my selections and please feel free to leave your opinions in the comment box located at the bottom of the page.

1. Larry Merchant: Merchant has been calling fights on HBO since the 70's and I can tell you his eloquent speeches are unmatched and his hard questions make for great post fight interviews. Merchant can call a fight with ease by himself and in his prime he would take charge of the mic. He always had a poetic and old school way of describing a bout and his post fight remarks were the stuff of legend. He was confrontational verbally and sometimes physically.

2. Howard Cosell: He is known for "telling it like it is". He did just that in boxing and even football too. He talked big but, he could call a fight all by himself wonderfully. He befriended many fighters especially Muhammad Ali and he was his own entity, a man who made the great boxing match a great boxing event. He was the only mainstream celebrity on this list and his stint on Monday Night Football just made him even larger.

3. Don Dumphey: Dumphey was the best radio announcer in fight history and one of the top on television as well. Don could call the punches as soon as they were launched and his dellivery was clean and crisp. Also he called the fights all by himself and he had a great attitude and great knowledge of the game. Dumphey always had new information on the boxers and he interviewed fighters as well.

4. Barry Tompkins: Tompkins has called many fights for ESPN and even more for HBO. He was the original Jim Lampley if you will. He called many of Sugar Ray Leonard and Mike Tyson's biggest bouts. He was very insightful about the match ups he was calling. Tompkins could be funny at times but he was also a boxing encyclopedia with tremendous knowledge of the game.

5. Jim Lampley: Lamps has been a staple at HBO for over 20 years and his voice is golden. He has delivered some of the best blow by blow since Don Dumphey and his interviews are memorable too.He has developed a passion for boxing that few have. He is still young in the game and will probably leap frog the list eventually. Lampley also has his own boxing news show called "The Fight Game" which is an excellent program.

6. Al Bernstein: Bernstein helped develop ESPN Boxing and he now takes the mic during Showtime telecasts. He is knowledgeable about the sport and he has tons of experience. He asks compelling questions of the athletes before, during and after bouts. Bernstein seems to have a genuine love for the fight game and it shows when he sits ringside calling bouts.

7. Tedd Atlas: Teddy is a great trainer but, over the last ten or so years his boxing knowledge has spilled over into his commentating. He does expert commentary for ESPN and Atlas will not only get to the bottom of any wrong doings but he will get in your face to get respect. He loves boxing and it shows in his delivery. He can be funny but also very serious. When he breaks down bouts it is like a teacher teaching a pupil.

8. Emmanuel Steward: Manny is one of the best trainers in history and one of the best color commentators as well. He can catch fighter adjustments during a fight and speak about it during the course of action. He is a legend with a crisp and clear voice and he will be sorely missed, R.I.P. Manny. HBO has an outstanding announce team but it will never be the same without Manny.

9. Colonel Bob Sheridan: Colonel Bob has covered fights dating back to the days of Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali. He had a very unique semi yelling style that some how was actually very suitable for the matches he covered. A great fan of the sport, Sheridan was often humorous and even more often on the money. Sheridan was able to give excellent insights into the fight game and he called the action as he saw it.

10. Max Kellerman: Max is still a young buck but he has unmatched enthusiasm and he is a vault of knowledge also. He was on ESPN, Fox Sports and now he calls fights and does pre-fight and post fight interviews for HBO. He will rise on this list when he gains more years of experience. Kellerman is a huge fan and he will ask tough questions of boxers during post fight and pre fight interviews.

* Please let me know who you believe the best commentator in boxing history is by leaving your opinion in the comments capsule located at the bottom of this hub.

Who is Your Favorite?

Who is Your Favorite Boxing Commentator?

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Birthplace of Teddy Atlas (New York)

Merchant Don't Back Down

Whether it was Floyd Mayweather or Lennox Lewis, Larry Merchant stood his ground.

Larry Merchant Snaps on Floyd Mayweather

© 2012 Buster Johnson

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great list! Cosell will always be my all-time favorite.

    • cfjots profile image

      cfjots 4 years ago from Conway, SC

      Good list an interesting article. I will always remember Howard Cosell.

    • JamesCage profile image

      JamesCage 4 years ago from New Jersey

      Al Bernstein on Showtime is still my favorite boxing announcer.

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