“The Contender” boxing reality series is set to come back with a potential Hall of Fame trainer set to join the cast.
The show, which hasn’t been aired since January 2009, is set to make a return on the premium cable channel Epix, who had been trying to get to showcasing big boxing events.
For those unfamiliar with the format of the show, the series follows a group of boxers and films them their personal and professional boxing lives as they try to win a large cash prize. Sixteen boxers are divided into two groups and each team has a trainer as they compete against each other in short fights in a single elimination tournament to find a winning team and overall winner, similar to UFC’s “The Ultimate Fighter” series, which also started airing in 2005.
Production on the series reboot is set to soon begin in Souther California. The reboot will have 12 hour-long episodes on Epix in late August or early September and the cast is still being assembled. According to Dan Rafael, the show will have 16 middleweights divided into two teams, with one trainer leading each team. One trainer that could potentially join the cast is Hall of Famer Freddie Roach. Roach joining the cast would be very convenient as his Wild Card Boxing Club gym is located in Hollywood, California.
The show had its first season aired on NBC with seasons two and three being aired on ESPN and the fourth season being televised on the now-defunct Versus channel. The show featured up-and-coming boxers with some of them achieving world-class success and was hosted by the likes of Sugar Ray Robinson and Sylvester Stallone Sergio Mora, the season one winner, would later go on and win the WBC junior middleweight title and then challenge for the WBA "regular" middleweight title twice against Daniel Jacobs.