This is an piece I wrote showing how the history of HBO's, bias, jump-started by Jim Lamply hurts Rigondeaux so much. It's basically a summation of all of the problems with HBO that we have been talking about. A move to Showtime may not only be the best option, it may be the only option available so that Rigo gets the respect he is due, and will never get positive recognition from HBO commentary or HBO producers.
HBO Commentary and Jim Lamply Bias
“My response in a question to why Guillermo Rigondeaux is bashed by HBO. This is nothing new and is a pattern that has been developing for YEARS!”
The blatant disrespect given by HBO to elusive stylist Guillermo Rigondeaux is due to Jim Lamply's pom-pom shaking for Rocky-type wars from now on, over slick boxers with no personality or a negative personality. HBO commentary implies slick boxers with a hated personality are boring. HBO's recipe for success is you either have to be a vicious brawler or at least a likable pretty boy. The pretty boy mindset began with Jones and Delahoya, which to Merchant and Lamps were ok, until Roy started Cherry Picking his opposition.
Jim Lamply’s first cheerleading was for Oscar Delahoya in a sickening way, almost as if he had a love relationship with him. Go back to Trinidad-Delahoya were not one complimentary word was said about Tito the whole fight! Jim Lamply loved the media darling Delahoya. Merchant was suspended for a telecast because he once said Delahoya's entrance music "sucked." Trinidad-Delahoya was the beginning of Jim Lamply's bias favoring certain fighters on the network.
It got where it was today with Gatti. Gatti was a thrilling slugger. Gatti was HBO’s next pom-pom shaker, but he was also a B-grade fighter who was rewarded and lost several fights in the process. Ward-Gatti I was a great fight! The second a third fights, over-rated by everyone because Lamply personified what was acceptable to him for the network. The likable slugger. In addition, Merchant played this time along with the slugging mentality at HBO Boxing. Arturo Gatti was the beginning of where Jim Lamply’s commentary created group think at HBO for the whole crew Jim Lamply, Larry Merchant, Roy Jones, and Manny Steward to begin the slugger (Gatti) or lovable boxer (Delahoya) agenda.
When Floyd Mayweather came along and out-boxed the shit out of Gatti, HBO didn't like that at all, and treated Floyd akin to a wrestling comparison, the badass, the villain who just beat their "Hulk Hogan." in Gatti There was some understanding because of Floyd being a POS, hated, and not likeable. What HBO did not remember is how much money and the significance that that "POS" brought to the network. Floyd Mayweather became one of the best Pound-For-Pound fighters in the sport. HBO didn't have their Rocky, their Hulk Hogan, and that made Lamply upset. However, it also planted the seed, and Floyd knew damn well what HBO was thinking over the years, in Lamply's and Merchant's eyes, "Boxers are boring, and Floyd's not a "Goody Two Shoes" personality like Delahoya."
Jim Lamply's and HBO's "Wet Dream" was the emergence of Pacquaio. That was their new Gatti, new Hulk Hogan, new poster boy for everything great about boxing was in that package, A likably slugger. "Pacquaio, Pacquiao, Pacquiao! “Bang! Bang Bang!” That was what Lamply and Merchant wanted in the next Gatti only better. That's when they REALLY started shitting on the "boring boxer." Keep the Klitschko's off the network, they aren't exciting enough. Floyd, according to Jim and Larry, like the Klitschkos, was boring. In fact, HBO THOUGHT they had the potential for some thrills with the Lewis-Vitali brawl, and Lennox got better treatment at HBO that doesn't necessarily fit the "love a brawler model." Nevertheless, Vitali's exile and brother Wlad not being exciting since Brewster I was not enough. HBO had too many boring fights from Wlad, no matter how much he dominated with his height, jab, and ability to break fighters down with the size and reach.
When HBO's poster boy for what's great and lovable about boxing Pacquiao lost to Tim Bradley there was some justification because it was still a bad decision, but no where near the shut-out that the Lamply's pom-pom shaking for Manny made it out to be. Most objective observers gave Tim four rounds. The bias in HBO's commentary of the Bradley-Pacquiao fight was nauseating. If you could stand to listen to it, you would have thought that fight was Holmes (Pacquiao) beating Cobb. (Bradley.) because HBO made it seem like it was so one-sided.
Tim Bradley was hated at HBO because he beat their Hulk Hogan in Pacquaio and made Lamply cry. So much money, time, and promotional energy was HBO and the crew counting on Mayweather-Pacquaio happening, because HBO wanted Floyd to get his ass handed to him. When Marquez fought Pacquaio in three of the closest, most microscopically close fights you could score, (I thought the first was the most marginal for Manny because I thought the early knockdowns were too big a lead for Marquez to recover.) HBO liked it because their boy Manny would still come out a winner.
The seeds were planted. Now if you aren't a Rocky type fighter at HBO, you aren't shit! Moreover, poor Rigondeaux now has to face those consequences. They are bringing back Donaire, and Lamply's pom-poms to go gaga over him once again and THAT is sickening. The ONLY way to get HBO back to somewhat of a respectable state where boxers can be appreciated. Lamply has to go! His overt bias for the slugger has gotten worse and worse for the past decade. I can understand and appreciate that when a fight is a brawl, Lamps can be thrilling to hear. HBO producers and commentators need to realize that just because a fight is a boxing match that does not make it “boring.”
Showtime builds quality two-sided fights that the public wants to see. HBO is still looking for their next Rocky, where it has become so biased against elusive boxers that I now watch HBO for movies and consider Showtime the leader for boxing broadcasts in terms of its commentary integrity and for the most part, just calling the fight, no pom-pom shaking. HBO's production values and new graphics have been shit since January or so with the new graphics and Steve Wisefeld there, WTF? They are going with "Fat Dan" Rafael as some sort of boxing consultant now. Everyone accept Top Rank is leaving HBO for the reasons stated above.