Jerry Milani sent along the following:
INTERNATIONAL FIGHT LEAGUE NAMES JAY LARKIN PRESIDENT AND CHIEF
Former Showtime Executive Joins the World’s Number One Team-based
Mixed Martial Arts League
NEW YORK, September 21, 2007 — The International Fight League
(OTC.BB: IFLI), the world’s number one team-based professional mixed martial
arts league, today announced that longtime television executive, event
producer and boxing industry icon Jay Larkin has been named to the
newly-created position of President and Chief Operating Officer. Larkin
will report directly to IFL CEO Gareb Shamus and will oversee all the
day-to-day operational details of the IFL.
“Jay has been very helpful advising us in our first year and we are
elated that he will be joining us in a larger full-time role as we enter
our second full season,” said Gareb Shamus, IFL co-founder and CEO.
“Jay’s experience in the television, live event promotion,
international television, entertainment industry and corporate business
worlds will be a huge plus not only to the IFL, but to the sport of Mixed
Martial Arts both now and into the future.”
“I am very pleased to be able to join the IFL,” Larkin said.
“Mixed Martial Arts is quickly becoming a mainstream sport with virtually
limitless growth potential as the fan demographic continues to expand.
The IFL is perfectly positioned to take MMA to the next level and
capitalize on the opportunities.”
Larkin spent over 20 years at media giant Showtime, rising to become
one of the most powerful deal makers in sports and entertainment during
his storied career. He began at Showtime in 1984, and helped create
countless entertainment specials involving stars ranging from Dave
Chappelle, Britney Spears, The Spice Girls and Jay-Z to legends like Frank
Sinatra, Paul McCartney and The Rolling Stones among others for the network
and pay per view.
During that time, the Brooklyn, N.Y., native also oversaw the
channel’s entrance into boxing, beginning in 1986 with Marvelous Marvin
Hagler's middleweight title defense against John Mugabi, thus creating the
powerhouse Showtime Championship Boxing. He negotiated the deals and was
the executive producer of some of boxing’s most legendary matchups
of the last quarter century, including numerous Mike Tyson, Evander
Holyfield and Julio Cesar Chavez fights. Larkin also was one of the key
negotiators for what was the biggest money fight in history, the 2002
heavyweight championship bout between Lennox Lewis and Tyson that happened
because of a landmark deal between Showtime (Tyson's network) and
rival HBO (Lewis' network).
Just before leaving Showtime, Larkin put together Ricky Hatton vs.
Kostya Tszyu and Joe Calzaghe vs. Jeff Lacy, two career-changing events for
both Hatton and Calzaghe. Just prior to joining the IFL, he completed
negotiations for the upcoming blockbuster match of Calzaghe and Mikkel
Kessler for HBO and Sports Network.
His multi-faceted career includes an extensive background in live
theater. Larkin attended the Boston Conservatory of Music; the UCLA School
of Theater, Film and Television, and received a degree in theater and
directing from C.W. Post College of Long Island University. He has been
nominated for a primetime Emmy Award, a Tony Award and is a recipient
of the prestigious boxing industry Taub Award for excellence in
broadcasting journalism from the Boxing Writers Association of America.
About the IFL
International Fight League (IFL) is the world’s number one
professional mixed martial arts sports league. IFL has its headquarters in
New York and offices in Las Vegas. For more information about IFL,
please see: www.ifl.tv.