January 18, 2005 02:00 AM by Joe Blackmon
The toughest fight associated with The Contender might not be between any of the 16 aspiring boxers on the show. The Contender is premiering on Monday, February 21 on NBC, and then is set to go head to head with American Idol starting March 1 in its regular 8P.M. time slot. The New York Times is predicting that, "Given how "Idol" has dispatched competitors in the past, this is a match that has all the marks of a one-round knockout." Our prediction is that given the quality of most of Mark Burnett’s shows that The Contender will find success as the most taped show in America.
NBC Description of The Contender
"”The Contender” will follow 16 aspiring boxers as they come to a training camp to follow their dream of becoming a champion boxer. The driving force behind the series will be the pursuit of the American dream and the natural trials, tribulations and heartbreak inherent in that quest. The canvas of the show gives viewers a first hand look into the real life hopes, triumphs and defeats of the contestants and how this single-minded, consuming commitment affects their families.
“This series will tell compelling dramatic unscripted stories as we watch these 16 men follow their dreams of being a Contender,” said Burnett. “We’re looking to reclaim a part of America that has been missing – where are the Mohammad Alis? Where are the Sugar Ray Leonards?”
Stallone and international sports legend Sugar Ray Leonard will serve as both hosts and boxing mentors to this group of fighters as they each try to improve their skills in order rise to the rank of professional boxers."