Al Bernstein Interview: Discussing His Unplugged Show With Christy Martin & More

By William Trillo

It is always a pleasure to have the opportunity to talk with one of boxing’s all-time best commentators, Al Bernstein. Anyone who follows boxing is keenly aware Bernstein’s insight on the Manly Art of Self Defense is second to none. When I heard that Al’s next Unplugged episode would be with Boxing Hall of Famer and former World Champion Christy Martin, I knew this was something I wanted to speak to him about and to let our readers know to check this one out. It’s a can’t miss interview.

Martin’s career and life are nothing short of astonishing if not harrowing. Without giving too much away, Bernstein gave a glimpse of the interview. “Christy’s life reads like a book,” said Al, “From the beginning of her career when she couldn’t believe promoter Don King wanted her, to her fights inside the ring, her personal secrets and the turmoil outside the ring with her husband who always said he was going to kill her, Christy’s life is as complex and interesting as anyone could imagine.”

Now a promoter, Martin is looking for big things with her promotions in 2021. Says Bernstein, “Christy has given so much to the sport and is a true Hall of Famer. We are truly hoping for her to have all the success as a promoter that she earned as a fighter both inside and outside the ring”

“Christy’s life is very compelling”, stated Bernstein, “even people who are very in tune with boxing are going to be surprised when they check out this interview. Christy is a pioneer in so many different areas of her life, not just boxing. I am certain this interview will be of interest to both boxing fans and non-boxing fans alike.”

Here are the links for the show :

YouTube ep36:
TV 201:

Switching gears, I couldn’t help but ask Bernstein about the inside the ring statements recently made by lightweights, Teofimo Lopez, Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia. There is already rumblings of a “Four Kings” type of era like we saw back in the 80’s when Duran, Leonard, Hagler and Hearns were taking cracks at each other.

“Let’s not forget about Devin Haney as well”, noted Bernstein, “but the climate is different now and there are so many different promoters in the mix here. It’s not going to be as easy as it was back in the 80’s when Bob Arum really took charge and made those great fights happen. That being said, I am hopefully optimistic that these guys are going to start facing each other. They know that’s where the big money is and to get the big bucks they are going to have to make these fights happen. Like I said, I am hopefully optimistic 2021 is going to be bringing us these fights.”

Reflecting on those days in the 80’s Bernstein shared a conversation he had with the legendary Gil Clancy at lunch during the height of the 1980’s boxing scene. Bernstein asked Clancy, “Has there ever been a better era in boxing than the one we are living in right now?” Bernstein said Clancy looked at him as he stated, “No, and it will be very hard to ever beat.”

Lastly we wanted to talk to Al about the fights he will be covering that are coming up on Showtime January 23rd when in the long-awaited battle between undefeated rising junior featherweight stars, WBO 122-pound World Champion Angelo Leo meets Stephen “Cool Boy” Fulton Jr., in the main event.

“This is a fantastic match-up of two great styles that is sure to be a particularly good fight. This fight was supposed to take place before the Pandemic appeared and now it is finally going to happen. A battle of undefeated fighters for a world title. It’s sure to be an exceptionally good battle.”

Bernstein then made sure to state, “And the undercard here is not to be missed. Ra’eese Aleem is a world class fighter in his own right. In fact, he could hold his own very well with either fighter in the main event. He is not to be overlooked. And Victor Pasillas is a formidable foe, a southpaw with a huge heart. This is a fight I am looking forward to with great anticipation as well.”

We are looking forward to checking back in with Al after the first quarter of the year. Bernstein and I agree that 2021 has the prospect to be a great breakout year for boxing. I can not wait to speak to him again as the year progresses.

Al Bernstein Unplugged is available on all major podcast platforms and can be seen on Youtube. The television version of the show is available on a number of networks seen in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. It is available on Directv on Channel 623, Fios on Verizon Channel 597 and AT&T U-verse Channel 1665. Check local listings for day and times.

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