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The Contender

The Contender is a reality television series that follows a group of boxers as they compete with one another in an elimination-style competition, while their lives and relationships with each other and their families are depicted. Produced by Mark Burnett, the show is hosted by Sugar Ray Leonard, who shared hosting duties in the first season with actor Sylvester Stallone. Leonard also serves as a trainer on the show, along with Tommy Gallagher. During the first season, boxing manager Jackie Kallen also served as counsel to the boxers. The show ran for fifteen weeks through 2005 on NBC in the United States of America. The show ran in the UK on ITV2 and was repeated later in the week on ITV1, and now airs on ITV4. It also aired on AXN in India, and on the Spanish language network Telemundo. The second season, featuring welterweight contenders, premiered in the U.S. on Tuesday, July 18, 2006, at 10 pm ET/PT, on ESPN. The third season, featuring super middleweight contenders, premiered in the U.S. on Tuesday, September 4, 2007, at 10 pm ET/PT, on ESPN. The fourth season, featuring cruiserweight contenders, premiered in the U.S. on Wednesday, December 3, 2008, at 10 pm ET/PT, on Versus.
Season 5 - The Contender
2009-02-25
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2009-02-18
"In the semi-finals double-header, the final four take to the ring for their shot at fighting live at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods for the title of Contender Champion."
2009-02-11
"Given a second chance at the Tournament, Joell Godfrey trains hard to prove himself in his upcoming fight. With a spot in the Final Four at stake, Hino Ehikhamenor takes on Deon Elam, and Rico Hoye fights Joell Godfrey in a Double Header."
2009-02-04
"A new grudge is forged when the fighters are forced to make a decision that will change the tournament. Alfredo Escalera and AK Laleye finally settle their differences in the ring."
2009-01-28
"The eight remaining fighters are treated to a Singaporean reward, and the 2nd round of the Contender Tournament begins with a match up of tournament favorites."
2009-01-21
"After stopping veteran fighter Lawrence Tauasa with a deadly right hook in just the second round, Troy Ross brings home an impressive TKO victory, keeping control of the Power of Choice and winning the fourth consecutive fight for the Gold Team."
2009-01-14
"Facing the knock-out power of Darnell “Ding-a-ling Man” Wilson, Ehinomen “Hollywood Hino” Ehikhamenor gives a safe but smart performance and out boxes Darnell in 5 rounds of boxing. The Gold Team walks away with their 3rd victory in a row and retains the power of choice."
2009-01-07
"It’s the fighter from the Gold Team, Deon Elam who raises his hands in victory over Richard Gingras. It’s all tied up with 2 wins apiece, and the Gold Team, once again, has the power of choice."
2008-12-31
"Coming off the exciting Erick Vega vs. AK Laleye fight, the Gold Team has the power of choice for the first time. The mood in the loft has changed drastically, as the Gold Team celebrates their first victory in the tournament. They then get right down to business in discussing who their first target should be. Deon makes it clear he wants to fight, eying either Richard Gingras or Mike Alexander. AK, however, suggests that they should go after the “bleeding lamb”, Ryan Coyne because of the disrespect he’d shown Hino during training the day before."
2008-12-17
"After a 5-round, lopsided brawl with the Gold Team’s Jon Schneider, Alfredo Escalera Jr. wins the second fight of the Contender Tournament and keeps the “Power of Choice” with the Blue Team."
2008-12-10
"Setting the bar high for the rest of the fighters, Felix “Bad News” Cora Jr. gives a solid first match performance, out-boxing Joell Godfrey in 5 rounds of cruiserweight action. Felix’s victory now gives the Blue Team the first win of The Contender Tournament and the upper hand."
2008-12-03
"In the fourth season of The Contender”, 16 of the world’s best cruiserweight boxers answered the call and flew across the globe to the island nation of Singapore, to fight, in hope of being the next Contender Champion. The 16 boxers stepped into the Contender Training Gym for the very first time meeting with host Tony Danza and trainers Tommy Brooks and John Bray. The fighters were welcomed to their new gym and to Singapore, their new home. In his address, Tony let the fighters in on his little known past: he was once a professional boxer, but ended up down a different path. Tony then introduced the two trainers. Training the Gold Team is Tommy Brooks, one of the biggest names in boxing. He’s trained Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield as well as the Blue Team’s trainer, John Bray. John was himself a former Heavyweight contender. Now, as a trainer, John faces Tommy as a student challenging his former teacher."
Season 2 - The Contender
Season 1 - The Contender