Mark Burnett’s Retooled The Contender Series Boasts Host Andre Ward And A Field Of 16 Familiar Fighters
Reality television innovator Mark Burnett’s The Contender series heads to premium cable network EPIX Friday, August 24 at 10 p.m.
Olympic Gold Medalist, former two-weight division champion and pound-for-pound king Andre “S.O.G.” Ward has been pegged to handle the host duties for the revitalized program.
IndieWire recently posted a story revealing the show’s field of 16 Middleweights with some brief bios and images included for each fighter. In comparison to the fighters involved in the inaugural season back in March 2005, as a result of the widespread coverage of boxing over the past few years, potential viewers may recognize quite a few of the fighters more readily.
At the height of the Premier Boxing Champions series, during the time when multiple networks frequently aired the organization’s fights, boxing fans may have caught several fights featuring several of the forthcoming season’s fighters on Spike, NBC and NBC Sports Network, CBS and CBS Sports Network, Fox Sports 1 and ESPN.
Tune into EPIX August 24 and pick back up on the careers of fighters such Brandon “Cannon” Adams (17-2, 12 KOs), Eric “The Baby Face Assassin” Walker (15-1, 8 KOs), Ievgen “The Ukrainian Lion” Khytrov (16-1, 13 KOs), John “Dah Rock” Jackson (21-3, 16 KOs), Lamar “Omega” Russ (17-2, 8 KOs), and Malcolm “The Punisher” McCallister (9-1, 8 KOs). All of these fighters have either once worked their way up to the cusp of legit contender status before suffering an untimely setback against a current emerging Super Welterweight or Middleweight, or they were involved in a highly entertaining televised bout over the past few years.
Part of the appeal of the show will likely be aspects about the sweet science that Ward will impart throughout the 12-week season, as well as his interaction with a group of hungry fighters that could use the undefeated champion’s knowledge about the game. Secondly, fans will get to learn the interesting back stories of fighters like Atlanta’s undefeated Quatavious Cash, 34-year old father and husband Morgan “Big Chief” Fitch, Shane “Sugar Man” Mosley the son of Hall of Famer Shane Mosely, burn survivor Marco “Mad Man” Hernandez who has a young autistic son rooting him on from home, former junior titles holder John “Apollo Kid” Thompson, and 31-year old Cleveland, Ohio street-hustler-turned-family-man Michael “The Silverback” Moore.