Boxing: Iconic commentator 'Colonel' Bob Sheridan dies

Bob Sheridan with Joseph Parker in 2017.
Bob Sheridan with Joseph Parker in 2017. Photo credit: Photosport

The voice of some of New Zealand's most famous boxing bouts, 'Colonel' Bob Sheridan, has died, aged 79.

The American commentator was ringside during a golden age for NZ boxing, including the rises of heavyweights David Tua and Joseph Parker.

Bob Sheridan in 2018.
Bob Sheridan in 2018. Photo credit: Getty Images

Widely regarded as the 'voice of boxing', Sheridan called more than 1000 world title fights, among them some of the sport's most iconic contests, dating back to 1974's 'Rumble in the Jungle' between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman and the 'Thrilla in Manila' between Ali and Joe Frazier.

He was also part of the broadcast during one of the most infamous moments in boxing history, when Mike Tyson bit off a part of Evander Holyfield's ear during their 1997 rematch.

The Boxing Hall of Fame inductee provided some of the most memorable quotes in the sport's history, most notably in Tyson's upset defeat to James 'Buster' Douglas in 1990.

His first title fight was in 1968, when Jimmy Ellis and Jerry Quarry fought for the vacated heavyweight championship, after Ali was stripped of the title for refusing to be drafted for the Vietnam War.   

Parker's long-time trainer, Kevin Barry, took to social media to pay tribute to Sheridan, whom he called a "true legend".

"A man who was larger than life," Barry posted on Facebook. "People were drawn to his HUGE personality and his amazing experiences from all over the Globe.

"Rest in Peace Colonel. You will be missed but never replaced."

Sheridan was also a regular in the commentary team for the annual 'Fight for Life' charity events in New Zealand.

The cause of death is unconfirmed.