Legendary Sportscaster Al Bernstein
To Handle Play-by-Play For July 30
Kickboxing Empire Championship Card
At Hard Rock Hotel & Casino In Las Vegas
July 30, 2011
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Las Vegas, Nevada
Don't be surprised by the fact that legendary sportscaster Al Bernstein will do the play-by-play call for the
nationally and internationally televised world championship Kickboxing Empire card on Saturday, July 30, at
the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
A true renaissance man, Bernstein loves the challenges that come with expanding his realm.
"I like doing different things," he admits. "I enjoy all the different combat sports, and when they asked me to
do play-by-play I said, sure. I did it years ago on ESPN. In recent times I've been doing MMA, but I've also
done a couple Muay Thai events as well. I'm looking forward to revisiting this discipline."
Although best known for his many years of providing razor-sharp boxing commentary, Bernstein has worn
many hats throughout his hall-of-fame career, including cable sports news pioneer, reporter, author,
columnist, commentator, televised host, singer, performer and Internet mogul.
Bernstein started during the 1970s as a newspaperman in Chicago and also wrote for Boxing Illustrated and
The Ring. He joined ESPN as boxing analyst in 1980 and also covered baseball, basketball and the NBA
draft for SportsCenter. He wrote and hosted Big Fights Boxing Hour on ESPN Classic channel and, in 1988,
won the Sam Taub Award for excellence in boxing broadcasting journalism.
The year 1988 was also when Bernstein recorded his first album, "My Very Own Songs." Ten years later, he
began a career as a singing entertainer and performed at major casinos such as Caesars Palace, Mandalay
Bay and the Riviera, among others.
He has served as the boxing analyst for two Olympic Games, was a sports anchor for KVVU news in Las
Vegas and, since 2003, has been a boxing analyst for Showtime Championship Boxing.
Bernstein says in any sport, calling the action takes less in-depth knowledge than doing the color. And, in
fact, in some ways, working a kickboxing event may be easier for him than doing boxing play-by-play.
"You have to be at least versed in the sport and not misidentify anything," said Bernstein. "You need to
describe the drama as it happens. But sometimes as a play-by-play guy if you know a sport really well, it
can hurt you because you can be tempted to do things you should allow the analyst to do. I have to really
monitor myself and make sure I'm not taking away from the color commentator. You have your analyst and
you want to make sure they have an opportunity to give people different nuances of the sport and give them
an idea of who these athletes are and let them in on their stories a little bit.
"As a play-by-play guy, if you stick to the guidelines, stick to your job and make sure you don't try to do
more than you should, for the most part it tends to work out."
Bernstein is surprisingly humble about his status as a broadcast living legend.
"Everyone goes through these passages," said Bernstein. "I just hit my 30th year of doing this. After a
certain length of time, you reach a plateau where people see you differently; but I've always seen it as me
doing my job and trying to service the viewers as best I can. Obviously, after a certain time you get this level
of respect and people see you in certain way, but I think a lot of that has to do with the amount of time you
spend at something. I hope it also has something to do with the way you've comported yourself. I've tried
hard to not leave a trail of litter behind me."
Having served as the unmistakable voice behind some of the biggest and most memorable fights in modern
history, Al Bernstein could rest on his laurels and make a cozy living solely as an acclaimed boxing
analyst... but that's not his way.
In addition to all his other ventures, he currently hosts an Internet boxing channel with Internet sports network
iBN Sports called boxingchannel.tv and is working on a book entitled 30 years, 30 Undeniable Truths that
should be done next year.
The card starts at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific) Saturday, July 30, with doors to The Joint at the Hard Rock
Hotel & Casino opening at 6:30.
Tickets--priced at $25, $35, $50, $75, $100 and $125--are available at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino box
office daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and through Ticketmaster, either by calling 702-474-4000 or 800-745-3000
or going online at ticketmaster.com.
Promoted by Martial Arts Association of Las Vegas, the eight-bout event also includes five current and
former world kickboxing champions, headlined by Alain "The Panther" Ngalani of Hong Kong against Dzevad
"BH Machine" Poturak of Sarajevo, Bosnia, in a clash for the International Kickboxing Association super
Other Las Vegans on the card include Chidi "Chidi Bang Bang" Njokuani, Shawn Yarborough and female
ambassador of women's combat
sports, Kim Couture.
- Andre Courtemanche
Gary Shaw Productions
- Jim Hunter
Martial Arts Association
Subject to change