In sad news, it’s been reported that legendary fight commentator “Colonel” Bob Sheridan passed away yesterday, this at the age of 79. Reports say Bob passed away “peacefully, in his sleep.” Having worked the mike at ringside for both boxing and for MMA, Sheridan covered an incredible 10,000 fights or more during his long career.
Perhaps the most iconic fight Sheridan called is the epic between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, the never to be forgotten “Rumble in the Jungle” from October of 1974. Sheridan also called the Ali-Joe Frazier “Thrilla in Manilla” of the following year. Also at heavyweight, Sheridan was behind the microphone that surreal night when the “Fan Man” dropped in during the second fight between Riddick Bowe and Evander Holyfield.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts in April of 1944, Sheridan got first into baseball, both playing and commentating. Later, Chris Dundee gave Sheridan his first big break in calling boxing matches, Bob’s first significant heavyweight fight being the bout between Jerry Quarry and Jimmy Ellis, this in 1968. Later, in 1972, in a fortuitous break, 29 year old Sheridan was offered a job calling fights for a new broadcaster called Video Techniques. This led to Sheridan calling the Ali-Foreman super-fight.
From then on, Sheridan never looked back. Fighters liked Sheridan, Ali in particular enjoying being around him. It is the big heavyweight fights Sheridan called that he is best known for, with Bob also covering the infamous Tyson-Holyfield “Bite Fight,” from 1997. Quite astonishingly, Sheridan suffered a heart attack the day of the Holyfield-Tyson rematch, with Bob signing himself out of the hospital so he could work the fight that evening!
Sadly, further heart attacks badly affected Sheridan’s health and he was in 2010, after being declared bankrupt, placed in an induced coma. Bob’s later years saw him fighting on as a paraplegic.
A great commentator and a great guy, Bob Sheridan was for many years, The Voice of Boxing. He will be missed. Our condolences go out to Bob’s family and friends at this time.
Some of the other big names Sheridan commentated on from his seat at ringside include: Thomas Hearns, Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Julio Cesar Chavez, Lennox Lewis, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Roy Jones, and Bernard Hopkins.