The Contender

Watch The Contender

  • 2005
  • 5 Seasons
  • 7.4  (796)

The Contender was a reality television series that premiered on the cable network Epix in 2005. The show was created by mega movie star Sylvester Stallone and featured former boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard as one of the show's hosts. The premise of The Contender was simple. The show featured sixteen professional boxers, who were divided into two teams. Each week, the teams would compete in a number of physical challenges related to boxing, with the losing team having to vote off one of their members. The final boxer standing at the end of the competition would be declared the winner and receive a cash prize of one million dollars.

Unlike many reality television shows, The Contender had a focus on skill, honor, and respect. Host Sugar Ray Leonard regularly emphasized the importance of these qualities throughout the program. The show also allowed viewers a glimpse into the lives and backgrounds of the participating boxers - many of whom had struggled with poverty and adversity.

One of the most appealing aspects of The Contender was the intense training regime that the boxers followed throughout the show. Each week, the boxers were put through a grueling workout program designed to maximize their athletic abilities. These workouts were overseen by some of the most respected trainers in the boxing world, including Tommy Gallagher, Freddie Roach, and Joe Goossen.

But despite the rigorous training and intense physical challenges, The Contender was not just about physical strength. The show also placed a strong emphasis on strategy and mental toughness. As the competition progressed, the remaining boxers had to learn to adapt to new situations, hone their skills, and outwit their opponents.

While The Contender undoubtedly had all the hallmarks of a reality television show - drama, conflict, emotion - it was also a showcase for the sport of boxing. Each episode featured a number of thrilling bouts, in which the boxers put their skills to the test. The fights were expertly choreographed and filmed, with slow-motion replays and expert commentary adding to the drama.

Of course, no reality television show would be complete without a few surprises and twists, and The Contender was no exception. One of the most shocking moments in the show's history came in season two, when one of the boxers was forced to withdraw due to a serious injury. The remaining boxers were given the choice of whether or not to continue with the competition, leading to a tense and emotionally charged episode.

Despite its success - the show was widely praised by critics and was even nominated for an Emmy award - The Contender was not without controversy. In 2005, amid allegations of match-fixing, boxer Najai Turpin took his own life. Turpin had lost a bout on The Contender and was facing financial difficulties at the time of his death. The tragedy cast a shadow over the show, leading some to question the ethics of reality television competitions.

Overall, however, The Contender was a compelling and thrilling show that captured the hearts of boxing fans around the world. With its emphasis on skill, strategy, and honor, it was a refreshing departure from many of the contrived and over-the-top reality shows that were popular at the time. Even today, The Contender remains a popular and highly regarded program, beloved by fans of both boxing and reality television.

The Contender is a series that is currently running and has 5 seasons (66 episodes). The series first aired on March 7, 2005.

The Contender
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Seasons
Live Finale
12. Live Finale
November 9, 2018
The first-of-its-kind boxing series ends with a two-hour live Season Finale. From the "Fabulous" Forum in Los Angeles, the top two fighters go head-to-head, and battle for a $250,000 prize and the ultimate title of The Contender.
Friends and Foes
10. Friends and Foes
November 2, 2018
The final four contenders face off in the semifinals; two season-long rivals battle, while another match involves two fighters who have built a brotherly bond; in the end, only two will move on to the finals.
Poetry in Motion
9. Poetry in Motion
October 19, 2018
One fighter faces a doctor's evaluation to decide whether he can continue in the tournament; another fighter nearly gets into a fight with a fellow boxer inside the house; two Contenders face off against each other.
Heart of the Fight
8. Heart of the Fight
October 12, 2018
No more Blue. No more Gold. It is now every fighter for himself as we enter the second round of The Contender Boxing Tournament.
No Easy Road
7. No Easy Road
October 5, 2018
After securing a victory in the last fight, the Gold Team will have the power to be matchmakers for the first time in the tournament.
Legacy
6. Legacy
September 28, 2018
In the aftermath of the fight, Marcos Hernandez's injuries send him to the hospital and put his Contender future in jeopardy.
Indecision
5. Indecision
September 21, 2018
Tension between the teams continues to rise as one fighter continues his antics, keeping the opposing team on edge. One fighter gets to spend time with his family and two hometown rivals step into the ring to face off.
Protect Your Peace
4. Protect Your Peace
September 14, 2018
One team continues to reign while the other remains discouraged. Observant behavior initiates a guessing game of who will be called out next, frustrating members of the losing team, who are waiting for their chance to prove themselves.
Who Wants It, Moore
3. Who Wants It, Moore
September 7, 2018
The winning team is riding high from their victory and is hungry for another.  One fighter plays mind games with the other team while another focuses on his faith to maintain peace while in the Contender house.
Fighting to Live
2. Fighting to Live
August 31, 2018
Eric Walker steps up and is gunning for a major threat from the Gold side. Michael Moore is determined to stir up trouble as tension between the teams escalates. 
Why Weight?
1. Why Weight?
August 24, 2018
Sixteen boxers move into a training facility to compete in The Contender tournament. Two fighters have a verbal altercation outside the ring. The two teams choose fighters to represent them in the first fight of the tournament.
Who Want's It, Moore? (Pack of Savages)
503. Who Want's It, Moore? (Pack of Savages)
September 7, 2018
The winning team is riding high from their victory and is hungry for another.
Heart and Balls
510. Heart and Balls
October 26, 2018
Friends become foes in the last two quarter final bouts. With the semi-finals just around the corner, one fighter tries to refocus, while another is hungry for redemption.
Finale
512. Finale
November 9, 2018
The first-of-its-kind boxing series ends with a two-hour live Season Finale. From the "Fabulous" Forum in Los Angeles, the top two fighters go head-to-head, and battle for a $250,000 prize and the ultimate title of The Contender.
Description
Where to Watch The Contender
The Contender is available for streaming on the Epix website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch The Contender on demand at EPIX NOW, Amazon Prime, EPIX, FuboTV and Pluto TV.
  • Premiere Date
    March 7, 2005
  • IMDB Rating
    7.4  (796)