One of the most respected and recognized voices in boxing, Al Bernstein will be inducted into the prestigious World Boxing Hall of Fame having received the highest number of votes ever for a non-boxer inductee. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING color analyst feels his inclusion among boxing’s elite couldn’t have come at a better time. “It is a great honor for me to be inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame,” said Bernstein, who has also been named the second recipient of the coveted Sugar Ray Robinson award. “I am especially delighted to be inducted the same year as they are celebrating their 30th anniversary year. There is a lot of synergy here as I am about to enter my 30th year as a national broadcaster. I’ve really enjoyed my entire boxing broadcast career and the last five years at Showtime has been a highlight.”
The World Boxing Hall of Fame will hold its 30th annual banquet of champions Oct. 24, 2009, at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott.
The President of the World Boxing Hall of Fame Armando Muniz, his executive committee and board of directors, along with the selection committee, have turned in their ballots and the Class of 2009 honorees have been announced. Boxers being inducted include: bantamweight champ Orlando Canizales, WBC, NABF, and WBA titlist Rafael Herrera, the first female boxer inductee “The Dutch Destroyer” Lucia Rijker and South African featherweight champ Brian Mitchell. Voted in as Expanded Category inductees are: Referee/judge Dr. James Jen Kim and Argentinean trainer Amilcar Brusa.
Bernstein has expanded his reach and can now also be seen on the Internet with his Al Bernstein Boxing Channel, which includes video with Bernstein covering major boxing matches, unique features on the sport and interviews with boxing personalities, along with classic matches available for viewing.
In May 2003, SHOWTIME signed Bernstein to work on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING. In Bernstein’s network debut, former World Boxing Association (WBA) super lightweight champion Sharmba Mitchell won a 12-round unanimous decision over Ben Tackie and International Boxing Federation (IBF) Super Middleweight Champion Jeff Lacy registered a second-round TKO over Anwar Oshana.
Since manning the mike at SHOWTIME, Bernstein has provided commentary for more than 50 world championship contests, including one of boxing’s all-time greatest, the lightweight unification contest between Jose Luis Castillo and Diego Corrales on May 7, 2005.
“That was the best and most exciting fight I have ever done,” Bernstein said.
“Matches like that have made doing boxing at SHOWTIME a wonderful experience. The match ups are terrific and with our ‘fights without rights’ mentality, they are fun to call. The production values that the SHOWTIME team puts into these telecasts makes me feel proud of the overall effort.”
SHOWTIME has benefited greatly from Bernstein’s presence on the telecast.
“Al Bernstein is the most respected boxing analyst on television,” said David Dinkins, Jr., the executive producer of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecasts. “His knowledge of the sport combined with his journalism skills, and dedication to excellence are the reasons that he is universally acknowledged as one of the all time greats of broadcasting. Congratulations to Al on this well deserved honor.”
Bernstein is an accomplished writer and author. He wrote “Boxing For Beginners,” a historical and instructional book on boxing in 1980. Before that he was a featured writer for Ring Magazine and Boxing Illustrated. From 1974-79, Bernstein was managing editor of Lerner Newspapers in Chicago. During that time, he won the Chicago Newspaper Guild’s award for best news story – an investigation into illegal land deals by suburban officials.
Bernstein, who lives in Las Vegas, Nev., also is an expert equestrian and has participated in a number of celebrity rodeos as both a participant and grand marshal. He also serves on the board of directors and is a spokesman for Caring Place, a Las Vegas facility that was co-founded by his wife Connie, which provides free services to those whose lives have been touched by cancer.