NEW YORK -- Widely hailed for its leadership position in televised professional boxing, HBO Sports will introduce a new team of announcers for the hit late-night boxing franchise HBO BOXING AFTER DARK on Saturday, April 29. HBO Sports executive producer Rick Bernstein announced today that the new BOXING AFTER DARK team will consist of experienced broadcasters Fran Charles and Max Kellerman, and Lennox Lewis, the former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. The three make their HBO debut as a team on the Saturday, April 29 edition of BOXING AFTER DARK from the Foxwoods Casino in Conn. with a doubleheader of action headlined by lightweight stars Zahir Raheem and Acelino Freitas (10:15 p.m. ET/PT).
“We’re excited to create a new broadcast team that will be exclusive to the BOXING AFTER DARK series,” said Bernstein. “With Jim Lampley, Larry Merchant and Emanuel Steward firmly established on the flagship ‘World Championship Boxing’ series, as well as our HBO Pay-Per-View events, the opportunity and need for a second team of announcers arose. Fran and Max are experienced pros with well-defined roles, while Lennox will provide viewers insights that only a former boxing champion can offer.”
Fran Charles, 37, who for the past five years has served as a studio host on USA Network’s golf coverage and is a former New York (WNBC-TV) and Boston (WHDH-TV) sports anchor, joined the HBO Sports division in 2000 as a blow-by-blow announcer and locker-room reporter. He will serve as the blow-by-blow announcer on BOXING AFTER DARK while continuing with his USA Network duties.
Max Kellerman, who will fill the role of boxing commentator for HBO and conduct the post-fight interviews, has been in and around the boxing community since grade school in New York City. The 32-year-old broadcasting veteran, who is quick to offer an opinion or comment on the sweet science, had an extensive stay at ESPN, where he worked both in the studio and at ringside on their boxing coverage. Kellerman has also worked for FOX Sports Net and is currently hosting a radio talk show for ESPN Radio in New York City.
Former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, Lennox Lewis, 40, will serve as the series’ expert commentator. His professional career from 1989 to 2004 featured an extraordinary sequences of events, culminating in 1999, when his victory over Evander Holyfield in their rematch made him the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. Lewis was a world champion (41-2-1, 32 KOs) and the sport’s preeminent heavyweight when he retired in 2004.
Born in England, Lewis moved to Canada at age 12 and captured a gold medal in the super heavyweight division for Canada at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. He moved to the professional ranks in 1989 and had a Hall of Fame career that was distinguished by his persistence and remarkably composed manner and approach. He accomplished his greatest feats as a boxer under the tutelage of trainer Emanuel Steward.
The executive producer of HBO BOXING AFTER DARK is Rick Bernstein; the producers are Dave Harmon, Thomas Odelfelt and Jonathan Crystal; the director is Mike Sheehan.