Legendary Boxing Hall of Fame analyst Al Bernstein has reached another career milestone: fifteen years of broadcasting the sport on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING.
Bernstein provided expert analysis for the largest pay-per-view event in television history. He ranks the Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao “Fight of the Century” the most significant broadcast of his career, one that spans three-and-a-half decades.
“I have great memories throughout my more than 37-year television career, but the last 15 years at SHOWTIME have been the most productive and enjoyable,” said the Chicago native and longtime Las Vegas resident Bernstein. “I have worked with extraordinary colleagues both in front of and behind the camera as we chronicled some of the most important and exciting boxing matches of this era.”
Bernstein was ringside providing expert analysis when Anthony Joshua TKO’d Wladimir Klitschko in the spring of 2017 in front of 90,000 raucous fans at Wembley Stadium in London for the IBF and WBA heavyweight world title belts. He places that at No. 2 on his biggest matches list, with Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor right behind that at No. 3. Mayweather also gets the nod at No. 4 as boxing’s all-time great dominated Canelo Alvarez in 2013. Bernstein’s fifth most memorable all-time SHOWTIME moment was in Manchester, England when Joe Calzaghe dominated Jeff Lacy in the mega-fight dubbed “Judgment Day.”
“I’ve had a front row seat to watch great champions in great matches,” Bernstein said. “And I’ve participated in what I think is the best television production in the sport of boxing. I’m honored to have participated in this special period of SHOWTIME Boxing and I am energized by the great fights of today and the future of the sport.”
Bernstein ranks the legendary Diego Corrales vs. Jose Luis Castillo bout as the best fight he has ever covered, followed by Israel Vasquez vs Rafael Marquez 3 and then, the recent Erislandy Lara vs. Jarrett Hurd barnburner from earlier this year. Juan Manuel Lopez vs. Orlando Salido 1 and the Klitschko-Joshua mega fight round out his top five best SHOWTIME fights.
There have been dramatic upsets along the way during Bernstein’s SHOWTIME tenure, with Nonito Donaire vs. Vic Darchinyan ranking at the top of the list, followed by Ricky Hatton vs. Kosta Tszyu; Orlando Salido vs Juan Manuel Marquez; Austin Trout vs. Miguel Cotto and Andre Ward vs. Mikkel Kessler.
“Al Bernstein is one of the most knowledgeable and experienced announcers in sports today,” said Stephen Espinoza, President of SHOWTIME Sports and Event Programming. “Over the past 15 years, Al has called many of the biggest events and greatest matchups in the sport of boxing, and brings a level of expertise unrivaled by any network. Congratulations to Al for what continues to be an exceptional career at ringside.”
Bernstein, who before joining SHOWTIME covered everything from Major League Baseball to the Olympic Games and the NFL Draft, is also an accomplished writer and author. He won the Chicago Newspaper Guild’s Award for best news story in 1975 and published his first book “Boxing for Beginners” in 1978. His most recent work, an enlightening look back at his 30 years in broadcasting (“Al Bernstein: 30 Years, 30 Undeniable Truths About Boxing, Sports, and TV”) was published in 2012. Bernstein has also appeared in a number of movies such as “Rocky V”, “Streets of Gold”, and “Play It to the Bone.”
Bernstein has been recognized by multiple international and state Hall of Fames, but it has not always been about boxing for Bernstein, or even sports. He 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.
Bernstein is also a singer and an expert equestrian. He has also performed as a vocalist for the past 30 years doing mostly tunes from the Great American songbook. He has appeared at many casinos in Las Vegas and around the country. Recently he has been performing at the Tuscany Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. As an equestrian, Bernstein participated in a number of celebrity rodeos as both a participant and grand marshal.