Hosts Sylvester Stallone and Sugar Ray Leonard give 16 young boxing hopefuls a shot at the big time in this Mark Burnett and Jeffrey Katzenberg reality drama.


Mark Burnett




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Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »




Series cast summary:
Sugar Ray Leonard ...  Himself - Host / ... 43 episodes, 2005-2007
Jeff Connor Jeff Connor ...  Himself - Ring Announcer / ... 38 episodes, 2005-2007
Alfonso Gomez Jr. ...  Himself - Fighter / ... 32 episodes, 2005-2007
Tommy Gallagher Tommy Gallagher ...  Himself - Trainer / ... 33 episodes, 2005-2007
Jeremy Williams Jeremy Williams ...  Himself - Trainer 34 episodes, 2005-2007
Sergio Mora Sergio Mora ...  Himself - Fighter / ... 34 episodes, 2005-2007
Jeff Fraza Jeff Fraza ...  Himself - Fighter 27 episodes, 2005-2006
Peter Manfredo Jr. ...  Himself - Fighter / ... 26 episodes, 2005-2007
Jesse Brinkley Jesse Brinkley ...  Himself - Fighter 23 episodes, 2005-2007
Miguel Espino Miguel Espino ...  Himself - Fighter / ... 17 episodes, 2005-2006
Tarick Salmaci Tarick Salmaci ...  Himself - Fighter / ... 23 episodes, 2005-2007
Freddy Curiel Freddy Curiel ...  Himself - Fighter 17 episodes, 2006-2007
Sylvester Stallone ...  Boxing Mentor / ... 16 episodes, 2005
Jackie Kallen Jackie Kallen ...  Herself - Manager 16 episodes, 2005
Dub Huntley Dub Huntley ...  Himself - Trainer 16 episodes, 2005
Anthony Bonsante Anthony Bonsante ...  Himself - Fighter 23 episodes, 2005-2007
Brent Cooper Brent Cooper ...  Himself - Fighter 16 episodes, 2005
Juan de la Rosa Juan de la Rosa ...  Himself - Fighter 16 episodes, 2005
Joey Gilbert ...  Himself - Fighter 23 episodes, 2005-2007
Ahmed Kaddour Ahmed Kaddour ...  Himself - Fighter 17 episodes, 2005-2007
Jimmy Lange Jimmy Lange ...  Himself - Fighter 16 episodes, 2005
Jonathan Reid Jonathan Reid ...  Himself - Fighter 16 episodes, 2005
Ishe Smith Ishe Smith ...  Himself - Fighter 16 episodes, 2005
Najai Turpin Najai Turpin ...  Himself - Fighter 16 episodes, 2005
Jack Reiss Jack Reiss ...  Himself - Referee / ... 18 episodes, 2006-2009


Hosts Sylvester Stallone and Sugar Ray Leonard give 16 young boxing hopefuls a shot at the big time in this Mark Burnett and Jeffrey Katzenberg reality drama. The Contender will delve into the lives of each of the boxers as they work their way to a million dollar paycheck and a career as a professional boxer. Written by JesusFan

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Who will roll? See more »



Official Sites:

NBC | Official site





Release Date:

7 March 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bokszakadémia See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


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See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


On 14 February 2005, 23-year-old contestant Najai Turpin took his own life in his car in Philadelphia. No part of the show was edited to remove Najai. See more »


Tommy Gallagher: Peter's not crying. Let's go back to work. At 7:00 you better get your asses up.
See more »


Version of The Contender Australia (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

A Triumph for Boxing Fans
8 May 2005 | by klstumpySee all my reviews

Anybody who is a fan of boxing should love this. It will also appeal to non-fans because the stories of the boxers themselves are heart-warming. It really gets into the heads of the fighters and shows what drives them, be it honor, fame, family, or God. I don't care much for the little athletic competitions they use to pick who fights next, but the fights, while only 5 rounds long, are action-packed and full of drama. Even if the fights are taped and edited, you'll be on the edge of your seat, and none of the hard hits, huge comebacks, and saddening defeats lose their impact. And since you get into the heads of these boxers and appreciate where they're coming from, when they fight, sometimes it's hard to choose who to root for. These guys are all winners*.

My only problem with the show is it is a little too over-packaged and edited. But, that's network TV for you. It doesn't matter too much in the end, because this show is still great, and one of two current shows I follow with great zeal (the other show being "Lost").

*With the possible exception of Ahmed Kahddour. Cocky bastard.

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