Charles to return to air Jan. 29

1/16/2010 - Boxing

Showtime's Nick Charles, the blow-by-blow announcer on "ShoBox: The New Generation" since the series' inception in 2001, is returning to ringside after battling bladder cancer since August, the network announced.

Charles was diagnosed with stage IV urothelial carcinoma during the summer but announced Friday that he is 80 percent in remission and that his doctors have given him the go-ahead to resume working.

He will be back on the air for the Jan. 29 "ShoBox" -- which will be headlined by bantamweight prospect Chris Avalos facing Jose Nieves at the Tingley Auditorium in Albuquerque, N.M. -- working with analysts Steve Farhood and Antonio Tarver. Charles turns 64 the following day.

"I never really lost hope and faith that I'd be back on 'ShoBox' working with the finest people I know professionally and personally," Charles said. "The boxing community has been overwhelmingly supportive. Their inspiration has moved me deeply. As important to me though are the fans of 'ShoBox' who have expressed to me beyond all expectations their concern and encouragement through a difficult illness."

During Charles' absence, Al Bernstein, who pulled double duty while also working as an analyst on "Showtime Championship Boxing," and Curt Menefee filled in.

"We are thrilled to announce the return of Nick Charles to 'ShoBox,' " said Showtime's Ken Hershman, who heads the network's sports division. "Nick is one of the great guys in our business. His strength and perseverance through this ordeal has inspired all of us. We continue to offer our support and love and we look forward to Jan. 29 when Nick returns to the mic."

Charles, who was treated at University of Texas M.S. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, has been off "ShoBox" since July 31, although Top Rank hired him to call the international telecast of the Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto fight on Nov. 14.

Besides his work on Showtime, Charles is also known for his tenure in the 1980s and '90s on CNN, where he won three Cable Ace Awards as the co-host of "Sports Tonight." He won the Sam Taub Award for excellence in broadcast journalism from the Boxing Writers Association of America in 2008.

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com.