Four-time Sports Emmy Award winning broadcaster Jim Lampley spoke to RingTV.com regarding his new boxing show, The Fight Game, to be aired on HBO beginning on May 12 at midnight.
Lampley said the show would deal with the news and issues surrounding the sport, including perhaps those involving WBC welterweight beltholder Floyd Mayweather Jr. and WBO counterpart Manny Pacquiao, among other things.
Lampley spoke in more detail about the venture in this Q&A.
RingTV.com: So can you give an overview of the show?
Jim Lampley: Well, it’s a 30-minute show, and it’s entirely for the boxing cult. And it’s entirely about things that we see on the air, on our network and others in our sport.
I don’t think anything like it has existed before, and I’m very, very excited about that.
RingTV.com: Can you reveal what sort of subject matter will be death with?
JL: Any and all, I would hope. Let’s say that you were sitting down at a bar, and you were discussing boxing for an hour, let’s say, with five other writers.
Given the day-to-day news landscape in our sport, with all of the things that go on, the things that you read about day-to-day in your reports and the reports of other writers and the blogosphere, anything is fair game.
So we’ll talk about what happens in the ring, we’ll talk about things in a business context, we’ll talk about what kinds of things are happening in the culture as it relates to boxing.
JL: What if there’s something going on on another network similar to things that we’ve done, such as 24/7, or, On Freddie Roach, I might review it.
If there’s a movie, like The Fighter, I might review it. But that would the softest kind of material. Most of the material is going to be news, and legitimate news that is going on in boxing.
RingTV.com: So you would talk about the out-of-the-ring problems relating to Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao?
JL: Everything is fair game, and the ultimate focus is who beats whom and how and what that does to the hierarchy of the sport. That’s the ultimate focus for everybody.
But, our sport is different from all other sports in that every event begins with a primary question, which is, “why are these two guys fighting each other?”
You don’t have to do that with NFL football or Major League Baseball or college basketball, because there is a schedule that tells you why these teams are playing each other. But in our sport, there is no schedule, and there is no mandatory.
You can say that there are mandatories because the so-called governing bodies confront them. But at the end of the day, it’s the fighters that do the business they want to do.
So at the end of the day, just as it is the case with every fight, our show begins from the perspective of “why are these guys fighting each other?” And then, we’ll go forward from there.
MICHIGAN STATE BASKETBALL COACH TOUTS SETH MITCHELL AFTER REACHING NCAA’S SWEET 16
In the locker room, moments after his Michigan State basketball squad had vanquished St. Louis, 65-61, on Sunday to reach Thursday’s Sweet 16 matchup against Louisville, Spartans’ coach, Tom Izzo, offered some encouraging words to heavyweight prospect, Seth Mitchell.
“Hey, Seth. First of all, I want to say good luck on April 28,” said Izzo, referring to Mitchell’s next fight against Chazz Witherspoon (30-2, 22 KOs) on the undercard of the rematch between RING light heavyweight champ Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson on April 28 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.
“In the meantime, we’re going to try to win a few more games for you. Keep the Spartans alive and well in that ring, and we’ll keep them alive and well on the court.”
An unbeaten prospect, Mitchell (24-0-1, 18 KOs) is a former high school linebacker standout who played on scholarship for Michigan State before graduating with a degree in criminal justice.
Mitchell is coming off a second-round knockout of Timur Ibragimov in December that earned him his 22nd consecutive victory and his 17th knockout during that run.
Although the heavyweight division is dominated by the Klitschko brothers, Vitali (44-2, 40 KOs) and Wladimir (57-3, 50 KOs), Mitchell, nicknamed, “Mayhem,” is considered by some to be America’s best chance at ending its heavyweight championship drought.
No U.S.-born fighter has held a heavyweight title since 2007, when Shannon Briggs briefly wore the WBO’s strap. In 2006, Hasim Rahman of Baltimore held the WBC belt while the IBF title was held by Chris Byrd.
Puerto Rican-American John Ruiz, the first Latino to win a heavyweight belt, held the WBA title from 2001 to 2005.
“Thanks a lot, we’re all proud of what you’ve done,” said Izzo. “We follow you, we watch you. I hope you’re checking us out. We’re going to be in Phoenix this week. Stay tuned.”
Photo by Renay Johnson, Fightwireimages.com
Photo by Lorin Chvotkin
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org