Showtime's Nick Charles, the longtime blow-by-blow announcer on "ShoBox" and one of the best people you will ever meet (and not just in boxing), is taking a second leave of absence from the series. As he recently announced, his bladder cancer is back in full force and he's doing everything he can to fight the disease and spend as much time as he can with his family.
I certainly wish nothing but the best for Nick and his family. I'm sure boxing fans everywhere do as well.
But he'd be the first to tell you that the show goes on, so Curt Menefee, best known for his studio host duties on Fox's NFL telecasts, is rejoining the "ShoBox" broadcast team.
Menefee, who filled in for Charles for three shows last year during his first hiatus, returns on Friday night (11 ET/PT) to call the action for the card headlined by the American debut of junior middleweight titlist Sergei Dzinziruk (35-0, 23 KOs) of Ukraine against Australia's Daniel Dawson (34-1, 24 KOs) at the Chumash resort in Santa Ynez, Calif.
Menefee will call the remaining slate of cards in 2010 along with analysts Steve Farhood and Antonio Tarver.
"Having done a couple of events with Steve and Antonio last season, this feels almost like a family reunion," Menefee said. "That's what the Showtime folks have quickly become to me, family."
Showtime's Ken Hershman added, "We're very glad to have Curt rejoin the 'ShoBox' announce team. When filling in for Nick Charles last fall, I was very impressed with his passion for boxing and the growing chemistry with Steve and Antonio. I believe that Curt is the exact caliber sportscaster that our ShoBox fans have come to enjoy."
"ShoBox" is also going in high definition with Friday's card, marking the completion of all of Showtime's sports offerings in HD.