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Jay Larkin, former head of Showtime Boxing, dies

Fighters Network

Jay Larkin, once one of the most-powerful figures in boxing as head of Showtime Boxing, died Monday morning at Nyack Hospital in Nyack, N.Y., after a three-year battle with brain cancer. He was 59.

Larkin helped found the network’s boxing program in 1986 and, ultimately becoming senior vice president and executive producer, was in charge of it for more than a decade. He was fired in 2005.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of our friend, Jay Larkin,” said Ken Hershman, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Showtime Sports. “His remarkable enthusiasm, his insatiable zeal for life and esprit de corps that he left behind at SHO Sports will always be with us. He will be missed by the countless people that he met and touched including all of us here at Showtime who’ve had the pleasure to work with him. All our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Larkin oversaw the creation of Showtime Championship Boxing, ShoBox: The Next Generation and the network’s pay-per-view arm, which enjoyed huge success when Mike Tyson was at his peak.

He was in charge during some the biggest events in the sport, starting with the Marvin Hagler-John Mugabi fight in 1986 and including fights featuring Tyson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Evander Holyfield, Julio Cesar Chavez and Felix Trinidad.

More recently, Larkin ran the failed IFL, a mixed martial arts league.

He was diagnosed with brain cancer in April 2007.

Larkin is survived by his wife, Lisa, and their two sons, Ryan and Gabriel.

Services will be held Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. ET at Beth David Cemetery (300 Elmont Road) in Elmont, N.Y.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made in Jay Larkin’s name to the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University — Duke University Medical Center, DUMC Box 3624, Durham, NC 27710 — or online by visiting