NYSAC Profile - Harold Lederman
In the sport of boxing, you’d be hard-pressed to find a non-combatant as well-liked and respected as New York’s own Harold Lederman. Lederman, the former renowned boxing judge and current boxing analyst and commentator for HBO, commands a certain reverence at ringside of any card he attends or works. Few involved in the sport possess his boxing acumen and he can explain the finer points of the sweet science like no one else.
Lederman was born in the Pelham Park section of The Bronx and his interest in the sport began at an early age when his father would take him to watch his favorite fighters, like Sandy Saddler, Roland LaStarza and Norman Rubio, to name just a few. It sparked a passion that would lead to a more than 30-year career in the fight game.
He began as a boxing judge in 1967 and eventually joined the cast of HBO World Championship Boxing in 1986, where he continues to provide his expertise of the sweet science to spectators around the world. Over that time, Lederman has scored more than 100 world championship bouts and has scored more than five hundred fights on television, allowing fans to follow along with one of the keenest minds in boxing.
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December in New York State
On December 11, 1925, New York’s own Paul Berlenbach defended his Light Heavyweight title, defeating challenger and former champ, Jack Delaney, via decision at Madison Square Garden. This was the first time the Garden utilized what would become their permanent and signature boxing ring, which ultimately hosted thousands of fights at the venue for 82 years before finally being retired in 2007 and donated to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, NY.
In an exciting contest, Berlenbach – who had won the belt from Mike McTigue seven months prior – was knocked down in the third round and, according to a ringside report, "punched groggy" in the sixth and seventh, but rallied strongly over the second half of the fight to turn back the challenge of Delaney. Berlenbach, known as the “Astoria Assassin,” finished his career with 40 wins (34 by KO), eight defeats and three draws.
On December 16, 1967, Nigerian-born Dick Tiger won the WBC and WBA Light Heavyweight titles from Puerto Rican-born Jose Torres in a unanimous 15-round decision at Madison Square Garden. Although both men hailed from overseas, both came to call New York State home for a portion of their lives. Torres went on to become the Commissioner of the New York State Athletic Commission from 1984 to 1988.
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