NEW YORK - 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: http://www.ifl.tv.