Boxing Odds and Ends: A Farewell to Bob Sheridan, Canelo-Charlo Notes and More


By Arne K. Lang

Boxing broadcaster Bob Sheridan passed away at his home in Henderson, Nevada on Wednesday, Sept. 27. Sheridan was 79 years old.

As noted by Ron Borges in a 1999 story for the Boston Globe, "Colonel Bob" (an honorary title) called “more fights in more places watched by more people than anyone else in history.” All told, he was the blow-by-blow announcer for more than 10,000 fights, a number that included more than a hundred heavyweight title fights. The irony is that he was more well-known in places like Australia than in the United States. This was because when boxing switched from closed-circuit to pay-per-view, Sheridan didn’t make the transition, except for those tuning in overseas. During his long association with Don King, he was the anchor of the international feed.

Born in Boston to Irish immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as toddlers, Sheridan grew up in nearby Lexington, Massachusetts. He attended the University of Miami on a baseball scholarship and cut his teeth as a boxing broadcaster covering Chris Dundee’s Miami Beach club fights on WGBS radio.

Sheridan’s first heavyweight title fight was the 1968 match in Oakland between Jerry Quarry and Jimmy Ellis for the vacant WBA belt (Ellis won a narrow 15-round decision). He would subsequently sit ringside for some of the sport’s most legendary fights, including the “Rumble in the Jungle” (Ali-Foreman), the “Thrilla in Manila,” (Ali-Frazier III), and Tyson-Holyfield II, the infamous “bite fight.”

During his early days on closed-circuit telecasts, Sheridan was often forced to take on a celebrity as his color commentator. For Ali’s fight with Chuck Wepner, it was Pearl Bailey. For the “Rumble in the Jungle,” it was British TV talk show personality David Frost. (Sheridan recalled that Frost was very professional, assuaging his qualms that he would be a train wreck.)

In an article for The Ring written seven years ago, New Jersey good guy Henry Hascup noted that it was a miracle that Sheridan was still alive considering his myriad health issues which included seven heart attacks and a quadruple bypass. He famously announced one fight with his cardiologist sitting next to him with a defibrillator just in case.

Colonel Bob was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2016, the second announcer accorded this honor following the legendary Don Dunphy. May he rest in peace.

***Will Canelo-Charlo be a sellout?

The word on the street here in Las Vegas is that tickets to Saturday’s card at T-Mobile Arena headlined by the match between Canelo Alvarez and Jermell Charlo are moving very slow. Without a strong walk-up sale or serious discounts, goes the scuttlebutt, the event has scant chance of being a sellout.

A common explanation for the sluggishness (assuming it is true) is the date on the calendar. The event arrives too soon after Mexican Independence Day Weekend. For many Mexicans and Mexican-Americans, the mid-September holiday is an occasion to spend money, perhaps a mini-vacation to Las Vegas or flying out of town to visit friends and family. Money that otherwise would have been spent to see Canelo Alvarez in action had already been spent, or so it is theorized.

At Stub Hub, last we checked, prices for a single ticket ranged from $282 to $31,850.

The four-fight SHOWTIME pay-per-view, which includes a delicious match between super welterweights Jesus Ramos and Erickson Lubin, carries a list price of $84.99. It airs at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.

***A new phenom?

We sat mesmerized at the Mayweather Boxing Club few days ago watching a boxing trainer work the pads with Curmel Moton who makes his pro debut in a 6-round featherweight fight on the Canelo-Charlo undercard. One did not need a trained eye to see that Moton is very advanced for his age.

Moton, a protégé of Floyd Mayweather Jr, is 17 years old and looks 15. As an amateur, he lost his first and last fights, but was 48-0 in-between.

Curmell Moton and Tank Davis

In a conversation with Fight Hype, Mayweather said that Moton would be a good match for Leigh Wood right now. Wood is the reigning WBA featherweight champion.

Mayweather uses hyperbole very sparingly. The last neophyte over whom he gushed as effusively was Gervonta “Tank” Davis. History would show that Floyd wasn’t blowing smoke.