Inducted on November 14, 1986
Frank Shain has a long time association in boxing. He enjoys his first name relationship with leading ring notables, past and present in all fields of boxing. This includes promoters, managers, handlers, boxing writers, boxing photographers. They are all very important to boxing.
His love for boxing dates back to his early youth. It was always his dream to be involved and be associated in boxing. Frank loved baseball. He knew the line-up of all the American and National League players, batting averages, etc., one visit to a professional boxing gym and Frank was hooked. A daily visitor to the gym, it was not long before he was recognized by several of the boxers and other people. The owner of the gym suggested to Frank, “Come in for nothing, kid, just be the time-keeper, help the boxers with their gear, make yourself useful. You’ll love it! The boxers will like having you around, too.” Frank stayed for ten years, or more. This is how it all began!
And now he will tell it! – “I enjoyed meeting and talking with the late Harry Balogh. To me he was the dean of ring announcers. His style was original and refreshing! Harry encouraged me and taught me how to announce. His valuable lessons are imbedded in my mind.
I started my announcing career at the Kingsbridge Veterans Hospital in the Bronx. After receiving my amateur license I started working as the ring announcer in the churches and schools. I was on regular call.
I graduated into the Golden Gloves as their ring announcer. This was a thrill of thrills. Now I was being seen nation-wide on television. I believe I hold the record of announcing 31 bouts in one evening. That same week, including the 31 bouts, I announced 126 bouts in one week.
Early in the 70’s, I was the weekly host of a weekly cable television talk show on boxing, “The Voice of Boxing” with Frank Shain. This was a half-hour talk show devoted to boxing exclusive- ly. Rocky Graziano was my guest eight times in one year. Also, there was the late Charley Fusari, Chuck Wepner, Carmen Basilio, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, Matthew Saad Muhammad, Chico Vejar, Don King, Allie Stolz, Mustafa Hamsho, Juan La Porte, and so many others, too numerous to mention. This popular show was on the air for 12 years.
I have announced approximately eight or nine thousand bouts. It is a high figure, I know. This is amateur and professional bouts combined.
I graduated into the professional ranks as a ring announcer. I was so very busy…on calls with six boxing promoters. I have announced in the Atlantic City Hotels, Convention Hall in Atlantic City before 12,000 boxing fans at the World Championship Fight. It was a memorable fight because it was the unification of the Light Heavyweight Championship. The contestants were Michael Spinks, the World Boxing Association Champion and Dwight Braxton, the World Boxing Council Champion. Spinks won a unanimous decision and unified the title.
My announcing assignments have taken me to Florida, Detroit, Michigan, Saginaw, Michigan.
To the present time, I have announced To the present time, I have announced 17 World Championship fights. I have announced Michael Spinks in 15 of his fights, of which eight were title fights. In addition to being on call for Michael Spinks, I was always on call to announce Davey Moore, the former World Junior Middleweight Champion. From ring center, I have introduced many ring notables: – Rocky Graziano, Jake La Motta, Joey Giardello, Michael Spinks, Leon Spinks, Gerry Cooney, Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Tippy Larkin, Joe Frazier, Marvin Hagler, Bobby Czyz, Chico Vejar, Alexis Arguello, and a host of so many more.
A guest on my boxing talk show was Tony Danza. It was early in his career. I stopped our conversation and predicted one day in the foreseeable future he would be a television and movie star. Tony laughed and said, “Thanks for the thought, it would never hap- pen.” Four months later, Paramount Pictures signed Tony to a lucrative contract. Two of his notable achievements are, “Taxi,” and “Who’s The Boss?” Soon, Tony will be appearing at Atlantic City hotels along with Joan Rivers, on stage. I have his appearance on my show on tape.
I came to the attention of the United Artists casting director, who was seeking an outstanding ring announcer to announce the Middleweight Championship fight between Marcel Cerdan and Jake La Motta in the motion picture, “Raging Bull.” After I was selected to portray the role of the announcer in “Raging Bull,” I was told the director and staff traveled in many cities alive with boxing to select the ring announcer. After watching and listening to other announcers, I was told again, “We have traveled the country, the role is yours.”
I was very prominently seen in the “Raging Bull.” The segment I performed in the picture was shown on the night of the Academy Awards. According” to statistics, the Academy Awards is seen in 165 countries and viewed by 300 million people.
I made a television commercial with Jake La Motta. It has not yet appeared on screen. When it does, it will be a howl. This is how funny it is.
I am especialy proud of the many accomplishments my wife, Eve Shain, has achieved. Eva has judged 18 World Championship fights. Her reputation as a highly competent boxing judge is recognized throughout the world.
After appearing on the Joe Franklin Television Show, Joe, of radio and television fame, labeled Eva and me, “Mr. and Mrs. Boxing.”
If I have my way, I want to shout it to the world, to the youngsters out there, “Go to school, get your education, then, enroll your time in some way in boxing. Boxing has done so much for people in boxing. Boxing will always participate in a charity to be of help. And rest assured, there will never be a charity for boxing. Boxing is a great sport! We love it! We are so happy to be a part of it! Keep punching!”