Jay Larkin, who stood toe-to-toe with HBO during the Mike Tyson era, died yesterday at Nyack Hospital in Nyack, New York at the age of 59. Larkin had been battling brain cancer.
While at Showtime, Larkin developed a boxing program that brought viewers the likes of Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Felix Trinidad and Julio Cesar Chavez. The second Tyson-Holyfield fight, one of the richest in boxing history, was produced under the Showtime banner.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of our friend, Jay Larkin,” said Ken Hershman, Executive Vice President and General Manager, 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.”
“I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jay Larkin," said Ross Greenburg, President, HBO Sports. "Although Jay and I worked for different networks, we were truly colleagues. His commitment to his family and to boxing was truly admirable. I considered him a friend and enjoyed the times we spent together. He will be dearly missed.”
Larkin was responsible for the programming, acquisition and production of the company’s boxing franchise as well as comedy and music specials for the premium television network. He worked his way up at the network to become Senior Vice President, Senior Executive Producer Sports & Event Programming at Showtime. His tenure at the network was from 1984 to 2006.
Following his career at SHOWTIME, he joined the International Fight League as their COO in 2007-2008.
Larkin is survived by his wife, Lisa, and their two sons, Ryan and Gabriel.