Showtime Championship Boxing: Award-Winning Announcer Steve Albert Hits Trifecta
NEW YORK (June 7, 2007) – Esteemed play-by-play announcer Steve Albert is being honored this month with the “Trifecta.” On Friday, June 8, Albert will receive the Sam Taub Award for excellence in broadcast journalism from the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA); on Monday, June 11, Showtime Networks Inc. will celebrate Albert’s 20 years as host of the acclaimed SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING series with an intimate cocktail reception for family, friends and colleagues; and finally, the renowned World Boxing Hall of Fame has just announced that Albert will be inducted to the Hall on Oct. 13 in Ontario, Calif., for his overall contributions to the sport.
Article posted on 07.06.2007
Known for his outstanding broadcasting talents and relentless pursuit of unbiased journalism, Albert is as humble as he is eloquent.
“I guess the BWAA will do practically anything to get me to go to their awards dinner,” joked Albert. “But seriously, it has taken me a great deal of hard work and dedication to get to this point. To be recognized and accepted by the BWAA, the Hall of Fame and my colleagues at SHOWTIME is an honor that is appreciated with my deepest sincerity.”
While Albert can find humor in practically any situation, he is the essence of professionalism on camera.
Al Bernstein, Albert’s television partner, has described him as the best-prepared commentator he has ever seen. However, Albert will be the first to credit his broadcasting and production crew for his accomplishments and the success of SHOWTIME boxing.
“It is truly a team effort at SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING,” Albert said. “I can’t thank the talented SHOWTIME family enough for their many years of support. I’m also very grateful to my broadcasting partners, Al Bernstein, Jim Gray and Karyn Bryant, who personify professionalism.”
One of the most recognizable voices in sports, Albert has been behind the microphone for SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING since shortly after its inception. During his tenure with the network, the well-respected broadcast veteran has called some of the biggest and most memorable world championship fights in boxing history.
“When I began announcing fights on SHOWTIME in 1987, I could not imagine that I would still be doing boxing today,” Albert said. “But it has been a great ride.
“There are so many outstanding memories and terrific people I have had the pleasure to work with. Plus, I do not think there is another sport that produces such interesting and unforgettable personalities. Only in boxing!”
Albert called the 1996 Ring Magazine “Fight of the Year” – Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield I -- and the rematch, the “Bite Fight,” which was one of the biggest fights in pay-per-view history.
“It was surreal to have called a sporting event that generated such widespread awareness and touched everybody from die-hard boxing fans to casual observers,” Albert said. “It is something that reverberated throughout the world.”
In May 2005, Albert put words to perhaps the greatest fight of all time, Diego Corrales’ improbable 10th-round, come-from-behind victory over Jose Luis Castillo.
“Castillo versus Corrales (I) brought heart, determination and sheer guts to new and unimaginable heights,” Albert said. “It was unquestionably the best and most compelling fight I have ever had the privilege to announce.”
And Albert has announced quite a few: nearly 250 telecasts; more than 450 fights; and more than 300 world title fights.
The talented Albert has been nominated for two Cable Ace awards for his work and has twice been named announcer of the year by the International Boxing Federation (IBF).
“Steve is the consummate professional,” said David Dinkins Jr., executive producer of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING. “During my 25 years in broadcasting, I have never worked with a person who is better prepared for a telecast. Steve’s attention to detail and professionalism are the reasons he has enjoyed so many successful years in the business.”
Before coming to SHOWTIME, Albert called fights for ESPN, Sportschannel America and a nationally syndicated series called “Super Fights of the Month.” He also was the lead boxing announcer at the 1990 Goodwill Games on TBS.
In more than 20 years of calling fights, Albert has been paired at ringside with Dr. Ferdie Pacheco, Bobby Czyz, Sugar Ray Leonard, Gil Clancy, Arthur Mercante, Mike Tyson and his current SHOWTIME broadcast partner, Bernstein.
“Steve combines two elements that are essential for doing a great call on a boxing match,” Bernstein said. “The first is excitement. He conveys the energy that you feel at ringside when a match heats up. Secondly, he is so well studied on the boxers involved that he educates the viewer about these boxers. By the end of the evening, the people watching understand the human stories involved.
“There are few sportscasters around with the sound broadcast mechanics that Steve has."
Albert’s trademark, vibrant skills have not been limited to televised boxing. He has had an extensive television and radio career in basketball with 20 years in the National Basketball Association. Albert spent 14 years announcing for the New Jersey Nets, five years as the television play-by-play voice for the Golden State Warriors and one year with the New Orleans Hornets.
The versatile Albert has been a presence in the New York sports landscape for many years. He has done play-by-play for major league baseball’s New York Mets, pro football’s New York Jets and the National Hockey League’s New York Islanders, New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils. Albert also has served as sports anchor at WCBS-TV, WNBC-TV and WWOR-TV, and did morning sports reports on WABC Radio.
While at Kent State University during the turbulent late 1960’s, early ‘70’s, Albert began his broadcasting career as a part-time play-by-play announcer for the Springfield Kings of the American Hockey League and his college hockey team. The latter was founded as a club by Albert and later became a varsity team after his graduation. After finishing college, Albert did play-by-play for the Cleveland Crusaders of the World Hockey Association, and announced some games for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Albert also served as the longtime host and play-by-play man for MTV’s Rock ‘N’ Jock basketball and softball games, and was the host of two nationally-syndicated sports-entertainment shows, “Battle Dome” and “Grudge Match.” He is the voice of countless national television and radio commercials, and has appeared in the television series “Sex and the City,” “Resurrection Boulevard” and “Ellen.” Additionally, Albert has been in the feature films “I Spy” and “Dangerous Game.”
The youngest of three sportscaster brothers, Albert’s oldest brother, Marv, does basketball play-by-play for Turner Sports. His other brother, Al, is long-time broadcast veteran for two NBA franchises and USA Networks Tuesday Night Fights. Steve not only followed Marv’s footsteps into broadcasting but, like his oldest brother, also was a ball boy for the New York Knicks.
“I am proud to say that this award strikes another milestone for my family. It becomes the 100th combined award for the Albert family,” joked Albert. “My brother Al and I are tied at one a piece.”
When asked what he is most proud of in his 20 years at SHOWTIME, Albert joked, “I survived.”
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING
In March 1986, SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING was born when “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler defeated John “The Beast” Mugabi in a spectacular and unforgettable 11th-round knockout in Las Vegas. Since that time, the network has aired some of the most historic and significant events in the sport including both Holyfield- Tyson bouts.
Always at the forefront of boxing, SHOWTIME has set itself apart by televising “great fights, no rights” on the first Saturday of every month. SHOWTIME is the first network to regularly deliver live boxing in High Definition. In addition, SHOWTIME continues to be a pioneer in sports television with a number of interactive features across multiple platforms making SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecasts the most enjoyable, immersive viewing experience for the boxing audience.
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