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Best Boxing Television Shows of All Time

Updated on May 18, 2014


Manny Pacquiao has been on 24/7 several times including his two fights with Timothy Bradley.
Manny Pacquiao has been on 24/7 several times including his two fights with Timothy Bradley. | Source

Which is The Best?

Which is your favorite television boxing show?

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24/7 (HBO)

This show debuted in 2007 on HBO and it's a huge hit. It features two boxers before their upcoming bouts. It's more or less a reality show with slight editing about the boxers at home, in the gym and everywhere in between. It's narrated by Liev Shreiber and it tells you lots of personal and professional information about the prizefighters lives in and out of the squared circle.

This show originally aired before the Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather PPV fight in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was a four part series that aired thirty minutes each episode. Since that time the show has expanded to other fights and fighters featuring the likes of Miguel Cotto, Manny Pacquiao, Sergio Martinez and Sugar Shane Mosley. Also, 24/7 has now expanded to the NHL and Nascar. The show's most intense scenes always have the perfect music to go with them and of course Liev Shreiber has a way of making everything dramatic. The show allows you to see all the major press conferences, weigh ins and preflight hype attached to the bouts. The music, interviews and up close and personal behind the scenes footage makes this a must see show for die hard boxing pundits.

The Contender

Sugar Ray Leonard and Sylvester Stallone helped make The Contender a success.
Sugar Ray Leonard and Sylvester Stallone helped make The Contender a success. | Source

The Contender (ESPN)

The Contender aired from 2005-2008 and it featured Sugar Ray Leonard and Sylvester Stallone. This reality style show showed boxers who compete with each other in a bracket tournament. At home, shopping, training, eating and anything else people do is what this show is all about. The show helped several boxers that either won the tournament or was a runner up get ranked highly and in some cases move on to world title bouts.

The 16 boxers are split into two groups living in two areas. Usually group A resides on the west coast in Las Vegas or in California while group B stays and trains in the East Coast in New York. The first three seasons were hosted by Sugar Ray Leonard with Sly Stallone also appearing in season one. Tony Danza took over the reigns hosting the final season which aired on the Versus network.

Sergio Mora won season one and ended up fighting for and winning a Jr. Middleweight title and the runner up boxer Peter Manfredo, Jr. Fought for the super middleweight crown. Season three winner Sakio Bika ended up winning the super middleweight crown.

Light's Out

Light's Out was a show about Prizefighting that aired on FX.
Light's Out was a show about Prizefighting that aired on FX. | Source

Light's Out (FX)

Light's Out aired on the FX channel in 2011 for one season. It produced 13 shows and it's about a boxer who wants to comeback to the ring. Patrick "Lights" Leary plays as a former heavyweight champion who has to box again to support his family.

Light's Out has some very dramatic moments and although it's fictional it still has some fact based realities of the sport including Dementia as a focal point of the series. It's really too bad that the show did not have enough promotion and advertisement attached to it because it was a high quality television series to say the least.

The program is based in New Jersey and after a retirement that was nothing but headaches and empty pockets, Leary must either make a boxing comeback or go to work for a local gangster as a street tough that collects for the mob. It's a wonderful drama show whether you like prizefighting or not and besides the show isn't just about fighting it's about Lights Leary's life as a whole with all of his struggles.

Five Great 24/7 Endings

All Access (Showtime)

Floyd Mayweather has been in a bunch of All Access shows including this one against Saul Canelo Alvarez.
Floyd Mayweather has been in a bunch of All Access shows including this one against Saul Canelo Alvarez. | Source

All Access (Showtime)

All Access is a behind the scenes boxing reality show made by Showtime that made it's debut in 2012. It's similar to HBO's 24/7 boxing show with constant narration and cameras following the fighters and their teams everywhere they go leading up to a forthcoming bout.

Each show airs for 30 minutes and it's fully narrated from start to finish with interviews from the fighters and managers. Get intimate with the boxers and their family, friends and entourage by seeing them at home, working out and even driving and buying cars and clothing among other things. We have all seen Pacquiao's mansions, Floyd Mayweather at the amusement park with his family and friends not to mention driving expensive cars. That's what this series is all about.

The show is a huge success having already won a Sports Emmy it's second year with Mayweather vs. Canelo All Access Epilogue. The show also covers the world of Mixed Martial Arts in a similar fashion with the same great narration.

Ten Great Boxing Movies

Raging Bull
Rocky 2
The Hurricane
On The Waterfront
Requiem For a Heavyweight
Cinderella Man
Million Dollar Baby
Somebody Up There Likes Me
Ten silver screen classics that focus on the sport of boxing.

Which Network?

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Next Great Champ (FOX)

The Next Great Champ was financed and starred Oscar De La Hoya. Amateur boxers trained together and then competed against each other with guidance from professional trainers. The winner gets a Golden Boy Promotions contract and a large cash bonus. The series had nine total episodes and the final winner was Otis Griffin who won the light heavyweight (175 pound) championship of the series.

The boxers can not have been in any professional fights and they must have very limited amateur experience in order to participate. The show had trainers Lou Duva and Tommy Brooks which for true boxing fans was a delight. Also, Even though the show was not up to par with its competitor The Contender it odd have it's finer points. The main one being that the show was full of constant guest appearances such as: Larry Holmes, Joe Frazier and Floyd Mayweather, Sr.

Lights Out Boxing Series (Trailer)

Boxing Equipment on Amazon

The Contender Trailer

Not a Complete List....

This is not a complete list of all boxing shows just the ones that I have seen and thought were worthy. Please leave any thoughts you have on these shows or any boxing show in the capsule at the bottom of this article.

© 2014 Buster Johnson


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