Interview: Colonel Bob Sheridan

By Ray Wheatley – World of Boxing

Hall of Fame Broadcaster Colonel Bob Sheridan called the “Rumble in the Jungle” / Muhammad Ali vs. George Foreman and “The Thrilla in Manila” / Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier. The “Clash on the Dunes” rematch between WBA, IBF, WBO heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua on December 7 in Saudi Arabia has been compared to these classic bouts by promoter Eddie Hearn.
The Colonel talks to® about the outstanding heavyweights of the past and present and how he would be interested in calling Ruiz-Joshua on DAZN.

Is this the most interesting time in heavyweight boxing since you called the legendary Rumble in the Jungle Muhammad Ali vs. George Foreman in Zaire and The Thrilla in Manila Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier?

That may be the most memorable time in heavyweight boxing history and it was great as a young broadcaster to be right in the middle of calling all of those historic fights.

I also think the 90s was a fine era for heavyweight boxing as well, with fighters like Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, Riddick Bowe, the return of George Foreman and a young power puncher named David Tua.

However, for the heavyweight boxing fans right now is an exceptional time as well because the big name guys are fighting each other following the dominant run by the Klitschkos for a decade. It all started with Tyson Fury’s upset win over Wladimir Klitschko, the surgence of Deontay Wilder, and the dominance of Anthony Joshua in the UK.

Matters got a whole more interesting when Andy Ruiz Jr. upset Joshua in New York City. It’s not just the top four guys either. Men like Joseph Parker, Kubrat Pulev, Adam Kownacki, Dillion Whyte, Luis Ortiz and Alexander Povetkin will keep the heavyweight division exciting for the foreseeable future.

You called Andy Ruiz against then-WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker in what was Ruiz’ only loss in a close fight. Were you shocked when Ruiz stopped Joshua?

Andy Ruiz Jr. and Joseph Parker was a very close fight, however, Parker is very quick and very strong, so in spite of the fact Anthony Joshua beat Joseph, it didn’t surprise me in the slightest that Andy was able to stop Anthony Joshua.

Andy Ruiz’ body type fools a lot of people into thinking he’s not in shape, but he’s very athletic with plenty of power and fast hands. He’s a pure gentleman outside the ring but he’s a tiger in the ring.

Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder gave fight fans one of the great heavyweight fights and are now will fight a rematch soon. Your thoughts on the rematch.

Tyson Fury has brought great color to the heavyweight division and his first fight with Deontay Wilder was a barnburner. I personally thought Fury did just enough in the first fight to get the win. When the second fight comes around, these two undefeated heavyweights will put on another great show but there is no way of knowing what might happen in the fight and that is why fight fans will love it.

Former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker is the only man to defeat Andy Ruiz. Does he deserve to be in the mix to determine who is the best heavyweight in the world?

There are so many great combinations of potential heavyweight championship fights and New Zealand’s former WBO champion Joseph Parker who continues to get bigger and improve under his trainer Kevin Barry is most certainly in the mix. I may be a little to close to Parker to be objective but I sincerely have great faith in Joseph Parker.

You have called fights on DAZN and are still regarded by many as the greatest fight broadcaster of all time. Will you be calling the Ruiz vs. Joshua?

You have to understand that DAZN is a huge company and the leader in live streaming of boxing. It’s not like the old days when I was the lead announcer on the world feeds for promoters like Chris Dundee, Don King, and Bob Arum and did the world feeds on both Showtime and HBO. There were only a couple of other announcers in the world that shared this with me.

Now DAZN alone between the USA and the UK probably has close to twenty announcers on staff and I’m just one of them. Needless to say, I’d love to call the fight in Saudi Arabia to keep my legacy going.

The truth of the matter is promoter Eddie Hearn may not even know that one of his staff announcers did the “Rumble in the Jungle” and “The Thrilla in Manila” or I would probably get the assignment to do the world feed in Saudi Arabia. Who knows? I’ll just keep my fingers crossed that I get the nod.

Colonel Bob Sheridan was inducted into the International Hall Of Fame in 2015 and has broadcast over 10,000 fights and at the age of 75 years is still top of his game. Congratulations to the Colonel on a great career that is far from over.

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  • Just my opinion but both Vitaly and Wladimir in their primes would’ve Knock out all these Fury, Wilder, Joshua and Ruiz… Without any doubt and if Wladimir returns i give him a chance (the puncher’s chance !) to beat any of these guy’s…

    • Vitaly and Wladimir was lucky to not have an competitive division during their reign. Plus, they only outweighed their opponents by 60+ lbs with great physical advantages. Wladimir faces somebody (Fury) his own size and couldnt handle. Fury outweigh Wilder by 60+ lbs and still hesitant to get in a rematch. Wilder knocks all these guys out.

  • AS an OLD friend of the Colonel, I know exactly where his moniker “The Colonel” originated. And it would be my honor to disclose such ancient secrets..BUT…I feel it is the Colonel himself who can answer this query. I myself will not invade his privacy. I will say that The Colonel is clearly one of the greatest blow by blow man in the history of pugilism and I am EXTREMELY happy to see him enjoying good health. His analysis of the current heavyweight division is spot on although I feel many potential heavyweight champions today are playing professional football and basketball. If you note many of the real last generation of champs, from Ali, Frazier, Foreman, Tyson, Holyfield, Buster Douglas(under rated but grew up in the ring as his Father was a boxer, he had the size and skills but only the motivation for one amazing night in Japan, he asked the questions Tyson did not have to answer until that night, What will happen to a bigger, skilled, not intimidated, powerful left jabber, strong enough to tie up Tyson inside and after establishing dominance leading with right hand power punches, the same strategy as Lennox Lewis later. Note Tyson never fought Foreman who I’m sure felt after facing Joe Frazier felt he would have no problem putting both hands on Tyson’s charges on his shoulders, straightening him up and knocking him out with HUGE shots.
    More than enough from me. Best Wishes To The Colonel!!!!

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