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HAROLD LEDERMAN


Filipino Reporter Exclusive

The ballyhooed bout between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather is not dead in the water despite Pacquiao’s controversial loss to Timothy Bradley Jr., the new World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion.

“It’s still on, and the huge purse involved will keep it alive,” said Harold Lederman, a celebrated boxing judge and HBO world championship commentator.

“Of course, I had Pacquiao winning by a mile over Bradley,” Lederman told the Filipino Reporter in an interview the day after the fight, which he commented on, round by round at ringside, for HBO, which hired him in 1986.

He doubted whether an investigation of the ruling would result in a suspension of the judges.

“I respect their decision,” he said, adding, “I know all three of them. They’re honest.”

In future fights of this magnitude, he suggested that judges would be picked outside of Las Vegas, to avoid any similar repercussions.

The split decision was roundly criticized in and out of boxing circles.

He mentioned several names whose reputation for fairness is unquestioned, including one of his two daughters, Julie Lederman, who followed him into the business and is now a ringside judge herself.

He pointed to Filipino Carlos Padilla as a respected referee with several title fights to his credit.

“A rematch between Pacquiao and Bradley is inevitable,” he said, since this is guaranteed in their contract.

Lederman, who lives in Orangeburg, N.Y. with his wife, retired from active judging in 1999 but remained with HBO as an “unofficial ringside scorer,” according to Wikipedia.

His voice can be heard when official HBO commentator Jim Lampley introduces him with the line “...and now Harold Lederman, our unofficial ringside scorer, will read the rules of the fight.”

In 1997, he was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame and in 2006 he received the “Good Guy Award” from the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA).

Ryan Songalia, a frequent contributor to the Filipino Reporter, is a BWAA active member.


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Superstar boxer Manny Pacquiao (right) connects with a punch against Timothy Bradley in the third round of their World Boxing Organization welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on June 9. Bradley won the fight via a controversial split decision.  (AP photo/Julie Jacobson)

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