Tag Archives: Jim Gray

JIM GRAY AND STEVE ALBERT ELECTED TO INTERNATIONAL BOXING HALL OF FAME

 

Veteran SHOWTIME Sports® Reporter Jim Gray and Former Play-By-Play Announcer Steve Albert Join 2018 Class Alongside Vitali Klitschko, Eric Morales and Ronald “Winky” Wright

 

 

SHOWTIME Sports veteran reporter Jim Gray and former, long-time play-by-play announcer Steve Albert were elected to the 2018 class of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, it was announced by the Hall on Tuesday. 

 

Gray and Albert earned induction into the Observer category, which recognizes outstanding achievements of print and electronic media journalists, sportscasters, publishers, writers, historians, photographers and artists. Gray and Albert will join SHOWTIME Sports boxing analyst Al Bernstein (2012), ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. (2013), analyst and historian Steve Farhood (2017) and announcer Barry Tompkins (2017) in the International Boxing Hall of Fame.  

 

Former heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, four-division world champion Eric Morales and former undisputed super welterweight world champion Ronald “Winky” Wright headline the 2018 induction class. The newly elected class will be inducted during Hall of Fame Weekend June 7-10, 2018, in Canastota, N.Y.

 

“All of us at SHOWTIME Sports who have worked with Jim and Steve over the years are thrilled that they are receiving this well-deserved honor,” said David Dinkins Jr., Executive Producer, SHOWTIME Sports.  “Both were instrumental in building the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® franchise.  Jim’s interviews have become classic post-fight drama while Steve’s fight calls are integral to some of the most significant moments in boxing history.”

 

Gray has been a reporter for SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING since 1994, and has earned 11 Emmy Awards throughout his career, including one for his interview of Mike Tyson following the heavyweight’s infamous “bite fight” loss to Evander Holyfield. The National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association also named that interview the “Sports Broadcast Story of the Year.” Additionally, the American Sportscasters Association voted Gray “Sportscaster of the Year” in 1998 and 1999.

 

Throughout his four-decade career as a reporter, Gray has covered numerous Super Bowls, World Series, Olympics, NBA Finals and NCAA Final Fours, and has interviewed many of the most lauded sports figures of this era including Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Kobe Bryant, Tom Brady, Pete Rose, Michael Jordan and many others. 

 

One of the most recognizable voices in sports, Albert joined SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING shortly after its inception in 1986. In a tenure that spanned over two decades, the world-famous broadcaster called over 300 title fights, including Julio Cesar Chavez vs. Greg Haugen in front of 130,000 fans at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, and Tyson-Holyfield I & II. In 2007, Albert received The Sam Taub Award for excellence in broadcast journalism by the Boxing Writers Association of America.

 

In addition to boxing, Albert spent 19 seasons covering the NBA, spending 13 of those years with the Nets, five with the Golden State Warriors and one with the New Orleans Hornets. Albert has also done play-by-play for the New York Mets, Jets, Islanders and Rangers, as well as the New Jersey Devils.  

 

The recognition by the International Boxing Hall of Fame is the result of a career’s worth of hard work and accomplishments for Gray and Albert.

SUGAR RAY LEONARD & DAVID DINKINS JR. MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL HIGHLIGHTS

 

“These are the type of fights that are going to bring boxing back to where it used to be.” – Sugar Ray Leonard

 

SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING on CBS, presented by Premier Boxing Champions,

Live in Primetime on CBS From Barclays Center in Brooklyn

 

NEW YORK (March 1, 2017) – Boxing Hall of Famer and former undisputed welterweight world champion Sugar Ray Leonard and David Dinkins Jr., SHOWTIME Sports Senior Vice President and Executive Producer, hosted a media conference call on Wednesday to discuss Leonard joining the CBS broadcast team for Saturday’s welterweight unification between undefeated champions Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia.  Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manger, SHOWTIME Sports, began the call with some opening remarks.

 

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING on CBS, presented by Premier Boxing Champions, broadcast will air live on CBS from 9-11 p.m. ET/6-8 p.m. PT from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.  The broadcast is presented by Premier Boxing Champions and produced by SHOWTIME Sports® for CBS Television, both divisions of the CBS Corporation.

 

Leonard will join the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING broadcast team on Saturday alongside host Brian Custer, play-by-play voice Mauro Ranallo, International Boxing Hall of Fame analyst Al Bernstein and Sports Emmy® Award-winning reporter Jim Gray.

 

A five-division titlist and one of the most decorated boxers of all-time, Leonard brings unique perspective to the broadcast booth having been in a similar situation to Thurman and Garcia more than 35 years ago. Garcia, the WBC 147-pound titleholder, and Thurman, his WBA counterpart, will unify the exact same titles that Leonard (WBC) and fellow Hall of Famer Thomas Hearns (WBA) unified in their classic 1981 Fight of the Year.

 

Leonard made his professional boxing debut on CBS in 1977, less than one year after he won gold at the ‘76 Olympics in Montreal as part of what is considered the greatest American boxing team in Olympic history. The March 4 event will reunite Leonard with former CBS producer and current SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Executive Producer Dinkins Jr.

 

Below is what the principals said Wednesday on the conference call:

 

SUGAR RAY LEONARD

 

“I was telling David [Dinkins] today, this is the perfect matchup. I mean, you have two incredible fighters, each one of them with their own style and confidence with Keith and Danny. What also raises an eye is the unification. That’s big time for any fighter. And if these fighters can live up to their expectations, I think it’s going to be a home run, without question.

 

“These are the type of fights that are going to bring boxing back to where it used to be. It’s going to require these type of fights, these type of individuals, these type of athletes, these type of potential super stars, to really change and make boxing what it used to be.”

 

On the importance of having these types of fights on network television and what it takes to bring the sport back to what it used to be…

“These two young men, these two champions, these undefeated fighters, they fit the mold. I talk to people all of the time about what fights they want to see and this is a fight that has star-quality to it.”

 

On the advantages of each fighter…

“I look at Keith, and I’ve been watching, over and over, tapes of his previous fight. Again, each of them bring something to the table. Keith Thurman, seems to me, a little more fundamentally sound than Danny Garcia. But Danny Garcia, has a neutralizer. One thing I think is a big factor for the actual fight itself, is that both guys are great champs and both of them could take punches. So, I don’t know. Put it this way, I wouldn’t bet my house.

 

“I do favor Thurman because he just seems to be a little bit more poised and collected. He just seems to be that kind of guy. First of all, he would never give up. Nor would Danny. But I just lean… it’s just my gut that tells me that Keith is a little bit more solid than Danny.”

 

On Danny Garcia…

“He’s just a guy that has that internal fortitude. He has heart, big heart. And he doesn’t give in. I think he’s the kind of fighter, you know where people short-change him. But I look at him and he’s one of those fighters that, I don’t train – I never train at all – but he’s the kind of fighter that I would enjoy training. Because he deserves to be up there.”

 

On the importance of facing the best opponents possible…

“That’s extremely important. Fortunately, I was in an era where there were just a lot of guys out there who were so talented. If given the chance they would prove to be champions.

 

“I always thought that we had to continue to raise the bar as a fighter, as a champion, and continue to fight better and better competition. When I was fighting, I swear, I wanted to be the underdog -psychologically, spiritually and mentally, if I wasn’t challenged, if I wasn’t considered somewhat of an underdog, I couldn’t perform the way I normally would.  It’s what would get me going.

 

“I have said this a number of times: This fight is going to be bigger and better than what we anticipate because of what is at stake.

 

“The advantage [for me] was the television network exposure, without question.  I loved that. It pumped me up because I loved the exposure. I loved the attention. I loved the fights and that’s what also helped me to be the fighter that I became.

 

On what it’s like being ringside and broadcasting a unification welterweight fight much like the fights and titles he’s fought for…

“It is an out-of-body experience. It’s déjà vu. Like holy, I am 60. It’s a kind of thing that is so special and it’s so rare of a unification it seems like. It speaks volumes to me as far as the significance of it. And these guys, Keith and Danny, they know it. They realize it.”

 

DAVID DINKINS JR.

 

“When we were discussing the upcoming Thurman-Garcia fight in our senior staff meeting, many of us longtime fight fans thought about Ray’s first fight with Thomas Hearns and the many parallels there with Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman. You have two undefeated fighters and two titlists who have been on a path toward each other since Danny moved up from being a unified champion at super lightweight and moved into the welterweight ranks and gained a world title at 147 pounds.

 

“Ray and Tommy were two stars who it just seemed inevitable that they would fight. We feel the same way about Keith and Danny. You have two undefeated champions and it’s inevitable that they would meet and declare who would be the No. 1 fighter at 147 pounds.

 

“I’m so happy that Ray can join us for this telecast and he and I have discussed over the past few days the many similarities between his circumstance during the Golden Era of Boxing when he had rivals like [Roberto] Duran, Hearns and [Wilfred] Benitez at 147 pounds.

 

“To make the situation even sweeter it reunites myself and Ray after we had worked together years ago at CBS. He along with Tim Ryan and Gil Clancy formed a very entertaining announce team. Ray was in and out of retirement at that point. So his full-time, part-time job up at CBS was terrific fun. We got to see some great fights and work together. And now he joins Mauro Ranallo and Al Bernstein, who is also a Hall of Famer just like Ray is, ringside this coming Saturday. It’s just incredible great fortune that Ray was available to join us and be a significant contributor on Saturday.”

 

STEPHEN ESPINOZA, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports

 

“SHOWTIME continues to deliver the strongest lineup of any network in boxing. We are delivering the biggest and most meaningful fights and delivering to the largest possible audience. With none on pay-per-view.

 

This Saturday SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING will present the most anticipated fight of the year live on America’s most watched network, CBS. Danny Garcia versus Keith Thurman is without question the best fighting the best. They are two undefeated champions with a combined record of 60 wins and zero losses and squaring off in the prime of their careers to determine who the top dog is in boxing’s marquee division.

 

“SHOWTIME has really made it our mission to televise the top-rated champions against the top-rated challengers in boxing’s most compelling weight classes.

 

“The fans have taken note, and the momentum continues to rise. Adrien Broner and Adrian Granados fought a close fight two weeks ago that was our most watched main event in two years.

 

“This is just the second primetime fight on CBS in nearly 40 years since Ali-Spinks in 1978. We are grateful to our colleagues at CBS who are helping to deliver this important event for boxing. It is critical that we put our best foot forward in a very hyper competitive television market, and that is certainly what we are doing Saturday night on CBS.”

 

ABOUT GARCIA vs. THURMAN

Danny Garcia vs. Keith Thurman is a welterweight world title showdown between undefeated 147-pound titlists. The 12-round bout headlinesSHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING on CBS, presented by Premier Boxing Champions, Saturday March 4 from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™. In the co-main event undefeated rising star Erickson Lubin battles once-beaten knockout artist Jorge Cota in a super welterweight title eliminator bout on CBS at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

 

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, start at $50 (not including applicable fees) and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketmaster.com, www.barclayscenter.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.

 

For more information visit www.SHO.com/Sports follow on Twitter @SHOSports, @KeithFThurmanJr, @DannySwift, @LouDiBella, @BarclaysCenter and @Swanson_Comm or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SHOSports, www.Facebook.com/DiBellaEntertainment, www.Facebook.com/barclayscenter. PBC is sponsored by Corona, La Cerveza Mas Fina.

 

EXCLUSIVE, CANDID INTERVIEW WITH FLOYD MAYWEATHER TO PREMIERE SATURDAY ON SHOWTIME®

Mayweather Goes In-Depth on Pacquiao Injury, the Possibility of a Rematch and Fighting Beyond Next September

 

SHOWTIME Premiere of World Championship Bout—Mayweather vs. Pacquiao—at 9 p.m. ET/PT Followed by Exclusive Interview and the Premiere of “INSIDE MAYWEATHER vs. PACQUIAO Epilogue”

 

NEW YORK (May 7, 2015)—Sports Emmy® Award winning reporter Jim Gray of SHOWTIME Sports® sat down with pound-for-pound champion Floyd “Money” Mayweather for an exclusive and candid interview late Tuesday night, just days after Mayweather dominated Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao en route to a 12-round unanimous decision victory last Saturday night in Las Vegas. The interview will premiere this Saturday, May 9, on SHOWTIME immediately following the network’s premiere of Mayweather vs. Pacquiao (9 p.m. ET/PT).

 

In the interview, Mayweather addresses the claim made by Pacquiao’s camp that the Philippine fighter sustained an injury to his right shoulder that hampered his ability during the bout.  Mayweather also discusses the possibility of a rematch with Pacquiao and fighting beyond his next scheduled event in September.

 

“Absolutely not,” Mayweather told Gray when asked if he could detect a problem with Pacquiao’s shoulder during the bout.  “He was fast.  His left hand was fast.  His right hand was fast and he was throwing them both fast and strong.

 

“Excuses, excuses, excuses,” continued Mayweather, who remains undefeated in his professional career with 48 wins, no losses and no draws.

 

“I’m not going to buy into the bull—… and I don’t want the public to buy into the bull—-.  He lost.  He knows he lost.  I lost a lot of respect for him after all of this.”

 

Mayweather goes on to address the possibility of a rematch.

 

“Did I text Stephen A. Smith and say I will fight him again?  Yeah, but I change my mind,” said Mayweather.  “At this particular time, no, because he’s a sore loser and he’s a coward… If you lost, accept the loss and say, ‘Mayweather, you were the better fighter.’”

 

The compelling interview will air immediately following the SHOWTIME premiere of the welterweight world championship unification bout at 9 p.m. ET/PT.  The interview will be immediately followed by the premiere of INSIDE MAYWEATHER vs. PACQUIAO Epilogue, the acclaimed original documentary series from SHOWTIME Sports.

 

# # #

 

Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation, owns and operates the premium television networks SHOWTIME®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ and FLIX®, as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME 2™, SHOWTIME® SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME®, SHOWTIME BEYOND®, SHOWTIME NEXT®, SHOWTIME WOMEN®, SHOWTIME FAMILY ZONE® and THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ XTRA. SNI also offers SHOWTIME HD™, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ HD, SHOWTIME ON DEMAND®, FLIX ON DEMAND® and THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ ON DEMAND, and the network’s authentication service SHOWTIME ANYTIME®. SNI also manages Smithsonian Networks™, a joint venture between SNI and the Smithsonian Institution, which offers Smithsonian Channel™. All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV®.