UK and US fighters face off in Contender Challenge tonight

Tonight at 9 p.m. ET, ESPN debuts The Contender Challenge, a six-episode competition series that pits veterans from the show against UK fighters. The series also airs on ITV in the UK, and features fights that took place March 30.

The US fighters, led by Sugar Ray Leonard, will fight in eight-round bouts. The one-hour shows will apparently introduce the two fighters and show their bout, and that’s it.

In a press release, ESPN’s Ron Wechsler said that the new series “offers a format that extends the fans’ relationship with the fighters to see how they stack up against international competition.”

Let’s hope they do better than first season runner-up Peter Manfredo, who lost his attempt to claim the super middleweight title on Saturday against Welsh boxer Joe Calzaghe; the referee stopped the fight in the third round.

The Contender Challenge [ESPN]

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Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.