Larry Merchant, Ex HBO Analyst, Weighs In From Hospital



Larry Merchant, Ex HBO Analyst, Weighs In From Hospital

Larry Merchant expressed surprise, on the phone from his room at an LA hospital, that TMZ had the scoop that he’d been taken to the hospital Thursday.

I called the color man GOAT after seeing the TMZ headline.

Larry Merchant on TMZ

First, I texted Merchant, age 92, asking him to tell me he’s OK. Then, I couldn’t wait, so I called his cell.

Couple rings, and it picked up. It was Larry.

Yes, he’s in the hospital.

Yes, he’s ok, but tests are being done and evaluated to determine what necessitated the trip to the hospital. Not a stroke, he said.

“TMZ,” he said, rhetorically.

Yes, c’mon, you know their mission, and track record, Larry.

“I guess I was a minor public figure,” he said, slowly and with I thought I could detect minor merriment. “They could’ve called, and…”

And I started cracking up.

The TMZ story was properly respectful of the multi medium ace Merchant

“No, not so much how it all works these days. I feel like a young dinosaur, I’m 54,” I told the Brooklyn-born printman turned TV guy. “People call them with the tips, bro!”

I was feeling a little upbeat, because Larry sounded decent.

Alive, and hopefully I told him, enroute to “well” and a Merry Christmas, happy holidays, happy New Year, too.

The wordsmith, a mainstay for newspapers, TV stations and cable outlets, said tests will be ongoing, so he will hang tight. Mrs Merchant, he told me, is back at the house.

I didn’t want to be excessive with his time, so I wrapped up the call.

Pedro Fernandez and Larry Merchant

Pedro Fernandez pic of him and Larry, Dec 14


“I’m ok,” Larry Merchant texted me, in answer to my initial inquiry, a couple minutes after we spoke.

Those words and a few shared with the terrific talent are having me feeling a bit more merry.

Founder/editor Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the then-impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist has covered the sport since for ESPN The Magazine,, Bad Left Hook and RING. His journalism career started with NY Newsday in 1999. Michael Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live, since 2017.