NEW YORK (April 24, 2008) – Nick Charles, who serves as host and play-by-play announcer for the critically acclaimed SHOWTIME boxing series ShoBox: The New Generation, will receive the prestigious Sam Taub Award for excellence in broadcast journalism at the 83rd Annual Boxing Writers Association of America Awards Dinner on Thursday, May 1, 2008, in Los Angeles..
The lifetime achievement award, now bestowed upon all four boxing announcers serving SHOWTIME Sports telecasts (Steve Albert, Al Bernstein for Championship Boxing and analyst Steve Farhood for ShoBox), is sweet for the broadcast veteran.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to receive the lifetime achievement award,” said Charles, an Atlanta resident who is known for his accurate, colorful and refreshing delivery. “It means a lot when the Boxing Writers Association of America looks at your entire body of work and decides that you deserve to be recognized for it.”
If you tuned in to CNN during the 1980s and 90s, chances are you saw Nick Charles. Hired to help launch the network in 1980, Charles won three Cable Ace Awards as co-host of CNN’s “Sports Tonite.”
During his time with the news network, Charles covered some of the all-time greatest boxers in many of their greatest fights, including Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns, Riddick Bowe, Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson and Oscar De La Hoya.
“In the early years of CNN, we had such a can-do attitude,” Charles said. “It was new horizons, un-chartered waters. Ultimately, not only did we not drown, we sailed around the world.
“They had me camp out in Miami after Roberto Duran’s ‘No Mas’ fight until I got an interview. They sent me to Japan to see Buster Douglas knock Tyson on his butt. I was in camp with Hearns in Detroit and at home with Hagler. Through the years, I witnessed boxing history.”
In 2001, SHOWTIME tabbed Charles as its blow-by-blow announcer for the new boxing series, ShoBox: The New Generation, which features up-and-coming fighters in tough match-ups in all boxing divisions. Thus far, Charles and his partner Farhood have called the action for nearly every ShoBox telecast since its inception—nearly 125 shows and 250 fights. In that time, Charles has witnessed many fighters advance from prospect to contender; from contender to world champion.
“You know little about these guys except that they better have a blazing desire to succeed,” Charles said. “The fighters have no entourages, and we do not feature ring walks. It is just boxing where two guys are matched tough, and it is a question of who moves forward and who falls back. That is the central theme of every ShoBox.”
With Charles and Farhood at the helm, ShoBox has found a niche with boxing fans and sports enthusiasts.
“Nick is a highly respected sports commentator who has traveled to more than 50 countries and covered all of the major sports stories for the last 25 years,” said Gordon Hall, SHOWTIME vice president and executive producer of ShoBox. “He brings a vast knowledge of boxing and great passion to each telecast. He is a true professional who brings out the best in those around him.”
Charles says the match-ups are what make ShoBox so intriguing.
“We usually have these young undefeated fighters who have never lost, and other times these guys who cannot afford to lose again,” Charles said. “It is all about acclaim and redemption, risk and reward. Ultimately, in this series, people’s careers have either taken off or have ended.”
The well-traveled journalist has worked as a site reporter and host for six Olympics, five Goodwill Games and the Pan-Am Games in Havana, Cuba.
“Nick’s love for boxing, and specifically for ShoBox, makes every show special,” said Farhood. “He’s the ultimate professional, and his enthusiasm never wanes. If you ask Nick, he’ll tell you he’s lucky to have boxing. But if you ask me, boxing is lucky to have Nick.”
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