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ESPN, Mark Burnett and DreamWorks Team Up For Contender Boxing Tournament


The Contender Challenge: UK vs. USA to Air on ESPN Beginning April 10

ESPN, Mark Burnett Productions, and DreamWorks Television announced they will produce a six-episode boxing tournament featuring a team of fighters from both seasons of The Contender facing a team of fighters from the United Kingdom. The Contender Challenge: UK Vs USA will be aired Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN beginning April 10. The Contender Challenge will originate from Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, England. The team winning the majority of the eight-round bouts of the inaugural tournament will be presented with the Sugar Ray Leonard Cup.

As The Contender’s host and mentor during both its ESPN and NBC runs, the U.S. team will be led by Sugar Ray Leonard, the six-time world boxing champion. Team UK will be promoted by boxing promoter, Frank Warren, and captained by former World Boxing Association (WBA) champion Barry McGuigan.

“Due to the success of The Contender, which has become one of the most powerful, worldwide brands in boxing, The Contender Challenge now offers a format that extends the fans’ relationship with the fighters to see how they stack up against international competition,” said Ron Wechsler, vice president of development and production, ESPN Original Entertainment.

The Contender Challenge will showcase the following matchups:

Walter Wright (Kent, Wash.) vs. Anthony Small

Freddy Curiel (Vernon, N.J.) vs. Ross Minter

Alfonso Gomez (Whittier, Calif.) vs. Martin Concepcion

Jerson Ravelo (Newark,N.J.) vs. Paul Buchanan

Jesse Brinkley (Yerington, Nev.) vs. Robin Reid

Cornelius “K-9” Bundrage (Detroit, Mich.) vs. Colin McNeil


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