Boxing: Reality TV Right Down to the Blood

The Mirror (London, England), March 24, 2007 | Go to article overview

Boxing: Reality TV Right Down to the Blood


Byline: BARRY McGUIGAN

THE Contender makes its British debut next Friday in Newcastle.

The format is simple, Britain versus America, eight bouts that could change the lives of the winners.

For British boxers like Paul Smith, Anthony Small and Ross Minter, the show offers a fantastic opportunity to become a household name.

For the likes of Robin Reid it's a last bite at the cherry.

The point is that the fighters are not being judged simply on their ability in the ring. It is their characters, their personalities that are to be examined, too.

This is reality TV at its most honest. The punches are genuine, the blood is real.

Each bout will be the focus of a one-hour ITV show. Each episode will go into the background of the fighters, reveal details of their personal lives, show them at work and play.

All of these boys have a story to tell. Reid's starring role in the production of top shelf material should make interesting viewing.

None was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. How they got to this point in their lives adds up to fantastic drama. The fact that there is something resting on the outcomes makes the experience very real.

Next month American Contender Peter Manfredo takes on Joe Calzaghe for the WBO super-middleweight crown.

Another Contender success, Sergio Moorer, was offered a shot at middleweight king Jermain Taylor.

All these boys can fight. Reid has held the WBC crown at super-middle. At the other end of the scale, Smith, Small and Minter are real prospects with a chance to forward their case in this series. …

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