Sixteen fighters will be facing off with one another this fall for the championship belt on the revival of Mark Burnett’s boxing franchise series The Contender. The 16 Contenders come from a wide variety of professional boxing backgrounds and stations in life, bringing their unique stories, personalities, strengths and motivations to the series.
Each fighter will be vying to be declared the new 160-pound middleweight champion of The Contender and take home the winner’s six-figure purse — a prize, which, for all the fighters, represents a better life for their families and loved ones who have been there with them through all the ups and downs of their journeys. Says Burnett: “The Contender takes unscripted TV to its grittiest. It has incredible professional fighters and real professional fights. The edge of your seat drama and true stories sets a tone that our audiences will be expecting and I love it.”
The Contender is hosted by undefeated boxing champion and HBO expert commentator Andre "Son of God” Ward. The San Francisco Bay-Area native has a boxing record of 32-0 with 16 knock outs. He is a 2004 Olympic Gold medalist and 2011 Fighter of the Year. He retired from boxing in 2017. He recently appeared in the movie Creed.
The original Contender series ran for four seasons (2005-2009) and launched multiple fighters into contention for world titles, including title winners Sergio Mora, Cornelius Bundrage, Sakio Bika, and Sam Soliman.