The Contender is coming back to television, and though it’s lacking Sylvester Stallone this time it still has plenty of gritty boxers hoping to make their mark on the sport.
The premium streaming service EPIX announced in February that it was bringing back the reality boxing competition, and on Thursday the network dropped a trailer for the show featuring many of the faces that will get intimate with boxing gloves over the next dozen episodes.
Mark Burnett revived the series, which ran on NBC from 2005 to 2009 and featured Sylvester Stallone encouraging young boxing talent to vie for greatness. A rebooted version of The Contender is a 12-episode run featuring 16 new boxing hopefuls.
Hosted by undefeated boxing champion Andre “Son of God” Ward will host the show, which will feature elimination-style fights
“What I’ve always loved about boxing is what the average person can’t see,” Ward said on Tuesday. “There’s more to it than just jumping into the ring and fighting. It’s about the motivation behind why you get into the ring at all — and that comes from different places, family, friends, your personal life journey. The Contender is going to show just what these guys are fighting for and why they deserve to be here.”
On-show training will come from boxing legend Freddie Roach and Philladelphia-based trainer Naazim Richardson, and EPIX is excited to bring this experience back in for a new decade.
“With this new iteration of The Contender, the focus is on the gritty, personal stories of the fighters battling for boxing glory,” EPIX president Michael Wright said in a release. “It was important for us to find individuals who not only displayed the boxing chops and resilience in the ring, but who also showed a depth of heart and humor outside of it. Our 16 fighters are vivacious, tough, funny, sensitive, driven and inspiring, and we are excited for our fans to get to know their stories and root for them inside the ring and out.”
EPIX will premiere the new version of The Contender on Friday, August 24 at 9 p.m.