Harold Lederman, HBO’s unofficial judge, has died following a battle with cancer at the age of 79.
Lederman, who graced the sport with his insight and precious smile for four decades, caused an out-pour of emotion when the news broke he passed away.
Several top boxing personnel rushed to send out their condolences to a man much-loved by those who knew him and enjoyed his infectious persona.
Boasting his own segment, ‘Hey Harold!’ was a regular feature on HBO’s big fight coverage.
In 2016, Lederman was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame before HBO stepped away after 45 years in 2018.
Releasing a statement, HBO Sports’ Executive Vice President Peter Nelson said: “Harold Lederman had a lifelong love affair with the sport of boxing.
“Over the past fifty years he was universally respected and celebrated by the many people who make the sport what it is.
“Harold was happiest when seated ringside, studying the action and scoring the fight.
“When he joined HBO Sports in 1986 he added a new and critical component to live boxing coverage. Viewers embraced his unique style and his command of the rules while his broadcast colleagues relished his enthusiasm and boundless energy.
“He was an historian and walking rulebook. He always had time for you whether you were a heavyweight champion or just a spectator looking to say hello.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Eileen and daughters Julie and Iris. There isn’t a person in the sport who won’t miss our Harold Lederman,” he added.
On social media, Lederman began trending, which is a testament to just how revered he was.
Here are just some of the comments made about a true boxing family member.
Just learned that my friend of 30 years, Harold Lederman, has succumbed to the cancer he fought so hard. @shotfighter26 was one of a kind & there will never be another. He loved #boxing, fighters and his family unconditionally. He lived his life on his terms.
On a truly sad day in boxing, I was able to share a laugh with #HaroldLederman’s beloved daughter and fellow judge, Julie. Harold is now trending on @Twitter. How frigging great is that! He woulda LOVED that. #Boxing loved Harold back. Nice to see. – Promoter Lou DiBella.
Immensely sad to hear of the passing of my old friend and colleague Harold Lederman. Harold was one of the good guys: always had time for everyone, and absolutely loved to talk boxing. A truly kind, gentle soul. RIP. – HBO colleague Kieran Mulvaney.
In all my years of announcing 10-counts, I have never heard that level of gasps from the audience like what I heard tonight when I announced the passing of Harold Lederman. So well loved! – Jimmy Lennon Jr. – Ring Announcer.
I am very sorry to learn of Harold Lederman passing away. A passionate boxing man, a boxing judge and unofficial judge for HBO for many years. Our prayers for Eileen and Julie in these moments. Let’s celebrate his life. – World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman.
Heartbreaking to hear of the passing of Harold Lederman. His seemingly boundless energy and unmatched passion for the sport made him a boxing icon and one of the greatest ambassadors the sport has ever had. He will be missed by boxing fans worldwide. Rest in peace, Harold. – Showtime Boss Stephen Espinoza.
Your insight and voice will be sorely missed. You brought joy to my life through your opinions and commentary. You are one of the reasons boxing is my favorite sport. #RestInPower – LL Cool J, rapper, actor and TV personality.
World Boxing News would like to send our condolences to the Lederman family at this sad time.