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. The series’ tagline is ‘The Next Great Human Drama’, and its soundtrack was scored by Hans Zimmer. Before the show premiered, rival US television Fox network rushed to air a competing show The Next Great Champ, hosted by Oscar de la Hoya.
The show takes the format of a gameshow, with the boxers divided into two teams based on their place of residence in the United States: East Coast or West Coast (or simply ‘East’ and ‘West’). These teams live together in group living quarters, in Pasadena, California in the historic Royal Laundry Building on Raymond Avenue, and compete for the right to choose which of their team members fights that week, and who he fights against. Most of the second half of the hour-long episodes are devoted to that fight: the loser is eliminated.
Summary via Wikipedia.