Al Bernstein


Status: SHOWTIME Boxing Analyst since 2003. ESPN Boxing Analyst from 1980-2003. NBC Olympic Boxing Analyst in 1992 and 1996. Author of 1978 book Boxing For Beginners.

DOB: September 15, 1950  In: Chicago, IL

First Boxing Memory:  “Was watching Sugar Ray Robinson and Wayne ‘Thunder’ Thornton and all those fighters that were on the Friday Night Fights, listening to Don Dunphy do the broadcasts at around nine, ten years old. And watching that with my dad (Sol). He passed away when I was 11 and those memories of watching those fights were very important to me.”

Last Book Read:  “Just read Pac Man by Poole. Just before that I read – can’t remember the title – it was written by Peter Bogdanovich. It’s a compilation of all his biographies of all the famous stars and people in the movie industry and it was really good.”

Favorite Movies:  “Big western fan. Silverado. Tombstone. Red River. Gunfight at OK Corral. I could name 30 westerns. A Big Country is another. This is where I’m gonna fall off the sled with everybody that watches me – Fried Green Tomatoes. One of my top movies of all time. I am hooked on chick flicks. The reason I’m hooked on it is, I have to say, they’re the movies more often where you get dialogue and plot and whatever, because there’s no action, there’s nothing burning. I like action movies too.”

First Job:  “At the newspaper Chicago Today. Worked as a copyboy and got to write some stories for them when I was in college.”

Current Car:  “Pacifica. I have an 11 year old. You need space for things.”

Greatest Sports Moment:  “Oh boy, probably doing the Corrales-Castillo fight. It was the perfect confluence of one of the best fights I’ve ever announced and the show felt extremely good to me.”

Most Painful Moment:  “I’ll tell you a painful moment. I didn’t know it at the time. But a fight where I was badly reviewed and probably justifiably so – the pay per view of Riddick Bowe and Evander Holyfield. Great fight, very dramatic, I thought I had done a good job on it. But in retrospect, I hadn’t, because I overtalked the event. Way too fired up for it, way too prepared. And it’s the only major fight where I got three or four really bad reviews on. So that was the most painful.”

Funny Boxing Memory:  “The old ESPN days were filled with them. One was we had a blackout in the arena – two or three times – and in those days – it’s not like now – where you have a studio show to go to, you had to fill in. Finally they figured out where to send you. That was crazy. Then there was one I walked off camera accidentally at the close of a show. They went to a different shot over us. This producer didn’t do it. And Sal Marciano was saying good night and I was busy taking myself off and when they came back on camera I was walking off the shot. And Sal said, We’ll be in Atlantic City next week and there’s Al getting a head start [smiles]. So that was pretty funny.”

Strangest Fight:  “Mike ‘The Bounty’ Hunter had three or four that were so odd, so strange, that you can’t even categorize that. Just bizarre. Then, on a bigger level, I thought Fan Man was the weirdest thing I ever saw.”

Favorite Meal:  “That’s a tough one. It would probably have to be pork roast. Chinese is way up there too.”

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor:  “I’m gonna say Fudge Ripple.”

Favorite Boxers To Watch:  “Today – Juan Manuel Lopez. Juan Manuel Marquez – when he’s in the right fight, where his skills can be showcased. Not so much like the Mayweather fight. Like to watch Glen Johnson always, always, always. Love him. I love watching Nonito Donaire because he’s so excellent. And we just saw an example of it against Montiel. There’s so many guys. I’ll probably get in trouble for naming a few only.”

Childhood Dream:  “I wanted to be in the media. And I wanted to do something in sports. I didn’t know it would be so centered on boxing. Even though I’ve done a lot of other sports, I wanted to be doing something in the sports media, always. From the moment I could think of doing something.”

Favorite Sport Outside Boxing:  “Basketball. I love playing it.”

Funniest Boxer Encountered:  “Tom Tomashek. He fought Tommy Morrison. He came out of the audience to take the fight because the opponent couldn’t fight because I think he failed a drug test. Tim went five rounds. The interview after was hysterical. He was a character, very funny. He kept saying, He’s a great man Tommy Morrison. He told me about a loss he had overseas. He said, They tricked me, free drinks on the plane [smiles]. That kind of stuff. Bruce The Mouse Strauss. The former journeyman, he lost on every continent.”

Hobbies/Interests:  “I’m a horse rider.”

People Qualities Most Admired:  “I like them to be nice, nothing replaces that. I just like them to be pleasant and not to create extra drama, because there’s enough of that to go around. Loyalty. Honesty.”

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