Although The Contender is not on NBC’s fall schedule, it hasn’t been officially cancelled. According to the New York Times, “An NBC spokeswoman said that while it did not have the show on its fall lineup, the network had not passed on ‘The Contender’ altogether.” Producer Mark Burnett confirmed “that if NBC was not interested, a cable channel was a possibility.” That cable channel reportedly is ESPN. Regardless, it’s “highly likely” that a renewal will be announced sometime this week.
Meanwhile, what was up with Sly and Sugar Ray constantly talking about a rematch while the final fight was still going on? While Peter and Sergio were fighting, Sly said, “I know the fight’s not even over yet, but I gotta start thinking about a rematch.” Burnett says “it was just natural exuberance from Sly and Ray–the fight was so close.” The paper reports that “he expected to announce another fight this week and that a rematch of the two fighters is a strong possibility.” The Providence Journal notes rumors “that a Contender tournament is being planned for July 5 in Las Vegas featuring the four finalists on the show–Manfredo, Mora, Alfonso Gomez and Jesse Brinkley.” Peter Manfredo Sr. “hadn’t heard anything from either NBC or Mark Burnett … [but] thought that July 5 was too soon for his son to get back in the ring,” the paper reports.