Listen up, douchebags: Larry Merchant KO1 murdering rapist hype merchant scum that constitute boxing’s deal-making fight-avoiding turd elite
Regular Aerial Telly readers will be familiar with his unparalleled standing in the world of boxing. An improbably gifted amateur fighter, he chose to develop his literary genius rather than crush everything in his wake in the professional ranks. But of course boxing remains close to his heart and the news that HBO will not be renewing the contract of Larry Merchant is a matter of grave concern to him. He may be 140 years old. He may stink of vodka. He may have pissed off every boxer, trainer and promoter in the business. But Larry Merchant is a true original, a broadcasting giant and a fearless sayer of the unsaid in boxing.
"As Vernon Forrest thanked God and his trainer after his gift decision over Ike Quartey, Merchant innocently asked him ‘Would you also like to thank the judges?’"
Merchant has always understood that boxing is a gigantic hype machine that spirals out of control if it is not checked and challenged. Fighters painting themselves as unbeatable warriors while avoiding every difficult fighter out there. Alphabet soup title belts not worth the leather they’re made with. Meaningless turd jousts presented as must-see pay-per-view extravaganzas. Nobody clears a path through the horseshit in boxing like Larry Merchant. As Vernon Forrest thanked God and his trainer after his gift decision over Ike Quartey, Merchant innocently asked him "Would you also like to thank the judges?"
"To their eternal credit, HBO stood by their man and told the rapist and the murderer to go fuck themselves which they duly did."
Determined never to be a cheerleader for boxing, Larry sees the fight game from a fan’s perspective and it’s often caused him trouble. After Don King and HBO fighter Mike Tyson shamelessly tried to overturn Buster Douglas‘s legitimate knockout victory over Tyson, Merchant asked difficult questions and King and Tyson tried to get him the sack. To their eternal credit, HBO stood by their man and told the rapist and the murderer to go fuck themselves which they duly did. Merchant’s assessment of Tyson as "An emotionally-disturbed washed-up sociopath" is typically astute.
"The only time HBO should be taking his microphone is when they prise it out of his cold, dead hands."
With his unique pausing cadence and bizarre analogies, his broadcasting style has authentic character – in sharp contrast to so many of the homogenised presenter droids you see around today. Always willing to criticise an HBO house fighter if necessary, his knowledge and love of the sport have nonetheless always shone through.
The only time HBO should be taking his microphone is when they prise it out of his cold, dead hands.
Larry Merchant – boxing legend and broadcasting pioneer. Respect is due.