IFL names Jay Larkin President and Chief Operating Officer

International Fight League, the team-based professional mixed martial arts
league, 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.”

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.

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).

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.

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
College of

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


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