Broadcasting ‘Dream Team’ for History-Making Atlantic City Card
NEW YORK, Dec. 8, 2003—Don King’s decision to televise five of the eight world championship bouts on his Dec. 13 “Night of the Undisputed” fight card from Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall on his own KingVision Pay-Per-View Ltd., has led to the formation of a never-before-seen all-star broadcast team led by Emmy Award-winning Executive Producer Jim Spence.
Article posted on 08.12.2003
Spence worked at ABC Sports for 25 years, his last 8 years as Sr. Vice President in charge of the day-to-day operation, and was instrumental in making Wide World of Sports the preeminent sports show in America where they won four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Sports Programming. Jim won an Emmy for his production of the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.
He left ABC 17-years ago to form his own production company -- Sports Television International -- the producers of this history making pay-per-view event.
King made history with Spence in 1975 when they presented the first $1 million fight on network television on ABC when Heavyweight World Champion Muhammad Ali met Ron Lyle in Las Vegas on May 16, 1975.
“We brought the first $1 million fight to home television at ABC, and we’ll make history again by being the first to televise five world championship title fights around the globe on Dec. 13 from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City,” King said of Spence. “The broadcast team we have put together for ‘Night of the Undisputed’ is unparalleled in the history of the sport.”
The unprecedented number of five televised world championship title fights has led to an earlier-than-normal start time for the pay-per-view broadcast of 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, which will be broadcast domestically and internationally by KingVision. The exciting night of championship boxing will be distributed domestically by HBO Pay-Per-View and KingVision as well as internationally by DK International Sales. The show will be televised by KingVision Pay-Per-View, Ltd. The other three world championship fights will begin at 5:00 pm ET.
VOOM will provide the exclusive high-definition television (HDTV) presentation of “Night of the Undisputed,” the first HDTV sports special to be delivered by the nation’s newest satellite television service.
The large number of televised fights has also led to a larger broadcast team as well. King and Spence have asked Barry Tompkins and Col. Bob Sheridan to share the blow-by-blow descriptions. They will be joined by International Boxing Federation Heavyweight Champion Chris Byrd and longtime WBA light heavyweight champion and former WBA cruiserweight champion Virgil Hill, who will provide on-air analysis.
Former NFL great and current CBS broadcaster Jim Hill will host the broadcast with Boston Globe writer and columnist Ron Borges adding analysis and perspective.
Nationally syndicated radio hosts Tom Joyner and Tavis Smiley will serve as roving reporters and America’s best known political consultant Tom Carville will serve as an analyst with Sheridan. New York Sun Columnist and ESPN New York radio host Wally Matthews will also be part of the broadcast team.
Sheridan has handled announcement duties on King’s international broadcasts for three decades and will add to his record for world title fight broadcasts—now well over 700. Joining Sheridan as part of the international team will be two former world champions in Felix Trinidad and Roberto Duran.
Tompkins, a recipient of six Ace and four Emmy Awards as well as the Sam Taub Award for Boxing Commentator of the Year, continues to be well known for Pac-10 and FOX Sports Net broadcasts. He has also recently experienced a national renaissance as the result of the rebroadcast of some of his most memorable fight calls on HBO’s Legendary Nights 30-year fight retrospective series where Tompkins can be heard bellowing his signature phrase “how do you like it?” during pivotal moments, which have become part of boxing lore.
Tompkins has also covered five Olympic Games, 20 Super Bowls, six World Series, 14 Wimbledon Championships, six French Open Tennis Championships, three U.S. Open Tennis Championships, three NCAA Final Fours, The Masters and countless championship boxing matches.
Hill is also an Emmy Award winner who has become a staple in Los Angeles after spending the last 27 years as a sports reporter, anchor and commentator -- the last 23 years at KCBS-TV. He has previously hosted numerous boxing events for Don King Productions.
Joyner hosts the No. 1 urban radio show in America with five million people tuning in weekly in over 100 markets via ABC Radio Networks. He also holds the distinction of being the first African American inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame.
Smiley is the host of the nationally broadcast Tavis Smiley Show. Smiley was named by Time Magazine as one of America’s 50 most promising young leaders.
Carville, who is the co-host of CNN’s CrossFire and a new HBO show called The Office of Jim Carville, is a noted author, speaker, restauranteur, political consultant and avid boxing fan.
Borges is a longtime writer and columnist for the Boston Globe who received the prestigious Nat Fleischer Award in 1994 for Boxing Writer of the Year recognizing excellence in boxing journalism by the Boxing Writers Association of America.
Matthews is currently a sports columnist for the New York Sun and co-hosts his own sports radio talk show with Tom Keegan weekday afternoons on ESPN New York affiliate WEPN. He is a two-time winner of the Associated Press Sports Editors Award for Column Writing; won the Nat Fleischer Award in 1995; co-hosted The Last Word sports show on FOX; and was a reporter at the Olympics for NBC in 1992 and 1988.
Duran -- one of the greatest fighters of his generation, and of all-time, the legendary Panamanian is one of only 4 fighters to hold 4 different world titles— lightweight (1972-79), welterweight (1980), junior middleweight (1983) and middleweight (1989-90).
"Tito" Trinidad -- the pride of Puerto Rico, and, along with Roberto Clemente perhaps the two greatest athletes to hail from that country, was a former IBF and WBC 147-pound world champion and WBC and IBF 154-pound champion.
The telecast will be produced by Rob Beiner, who was a producer at ABC Sports for many years and is currently producing the Friday Night Fight Series on ESPN2. The Director will be Larry Kamm, who was an award-winning director at ABC Sports, where he worked for over 30-years. He’s currently directing college football for ABC Sports. He won the Director’s Guild of America’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 1995.
While the live event is sold out, the local Atlantic City blackout has been lifted and The Night of the Undisputed is available locally on Pay Per View through local cable operators and it is also available via closed circuit in Atlantic City.
Boxing fans across the country will be able to view the Pay Per View telecast of Undisputed Middleweight World Champion and World Boxing Association Super Champion Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins against three-time and current WBA Middleweight Champion William Joppy; WBA Super Champion and World Boxing Council Welterweight Champion Ricardo “El Matador” Mayorga facing International Boxing Federation Welterweight Champion Cory Spinks—the winner becoming the undisputed world welterweight champion; former heavyweight world champions Hasim “The Rock” Rahman and John “The Quietman” Ruiz squaring off for the WBA Interim Heavyweight Championship; former IBF Junior Welterweight Champion and current World Boxing Organization Junior Welterweight Champion Zab “Super” Judah meeting WBO Latin American and Caribbean Lightweight Champion Jaime Rangel; and undefeated WBA Super Welterweight Champion Alejandro “Terra” Garcia defending his crown against undefeated No. 1 WBA contender “Tremendous” Travis Simms.
The three remaining non-televised world championships will feature WBA and IBF Light Flyweight Champion Victor “El Acorazado” Burgos facing WBA Light Flyweight Champion Rosendo “El Bufalo” Alvarez; IBF Junior Bantamweight Champion Luis “El Demoledor” Perez putting his title on the line against former IBF Junior Bantamweight Champion Felix “Macho” Machado; and undefeated WBC Cruiserweight Champion Wayne “Big Truck” Braithwaite defending his crown against WBA and WBO Latin Champion Luis “El Lenador” Pineda.
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