Thursday, June 25, 2009 | 5:48 p.m.
It’s a question many would argue is impossible to truly answer: Who is the greatest boxer of all time?
Nevertheless, longtime boxing analyst Al Bernstein and other boxing experts are going to try.
Bernstein will host a three-day event starting Oct. 2 at the Paris Hotel & Casino that will serve as the largest effort to date to answer the age-old question.
The process will begin with a panel of boxing experts releasing a list of nominees that boxing fans around the world can vote on at greatestever.com. It will culminate on Oct. 4 with a black-tie awards dinner.
“I am delighted to be a part of this,” said Bernstein in a released statement. “We now live in an age where this kind of public participation and debate is possible. For the first time we are going to know what boxing fans around the world really think.”
The nominations committee consists of Bernstein, boxing journalist Thomas Hauser, United Kingdom boxing journalist Colin Hart, head of boxing for pan-European sports channel Eurosport Jean-Philippe Lustyk and boxing hall of fame committee member Ron Borges.
The list was scheduled to be released on June 24, but should be made available on the Web site in the near future.
“We’re asking ourselves what it means for a fighter to be regarded as ‘great,’” Hauser said. “Many outstanding fighters won’t be on the final nominations list. We expect discussion and debate. But that’s part of the fun, isn’t it?”
The three-day schedule also includes a live boxing event presented by Sterling Promotions featuring a Team USA versus Team Europe format.
According to the statement, three boxing legends have already confirmed they will attend the event.
Former heavyweight champion Larry Holmes, the popular “Hands of Stone” Roberto Duran and Thomas Hearns, a former champion in multiple weight-classes, are expected to be present for the ceremonies.
“This is going to be a great weekend,” Holmes said. “I don’t know if I have been nominated yet, but I fully expect to be. My record stands up to anyone’s and you have to look at the quality of the guys I fought. But more importantly, this is a celebration of all our achievements and the sport of boxing.”
Tickets for the event can be found by contacting World’s Greatest Ever Boxer promotions.