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‘Contender’ reboot underway, with some rumored names

Denis Douglin, Vaughn Alexander, and Ievgen Khytrov are three of the rumored names for the “Contender” reboot.

David Benavidez v Denis Douglin Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

The hopefuls are in Cali now, being looked at by producers and talent, like trainers Freddie Roach and Naazim Richardson, and looking to the left and the right, assessing their competition.

“The Contender” reality show/athletic contest reboot will be a five-week process, after a week of getting-to-know-yous, which came last week.

Andre Ward, the retired light heavyweight ace, is also present to add an aura to the mix. The 12 episodes produced, which will feature two teams of eight, will run later in the year, on the premium cabler Epix.

Now, if some of the social media accounts of some of the younger guns you follow on social, in and around the middleweight sphere, have gone darker, you may now know why. Some of the talent rumored to be taking part, at least in the 24 down to 16 stage, are:

  • Vaughn Alexander (12-0, from Missouri; No. 42 on Boxrec)
  • Denis Douglin (20-6, from NJ; No 96 on Boxrec)
  • Devaun Lee (10-3-1, from Queens, NY; No. 123 on Boxrec)
  • Ievgen Khytrov (16-1, from Ukraine; No. 23 on Boxrec)
  • Kenneth McNeil (11-4, from Alabama; No. 2010 on Boxrec)
  • Lamar Russ (17-2, fighting out of NC; No. 125 on Boxrec)
  • Eric Walker (15-1, from Louisiana; No. 67 on Boxrec)

The original Contenders, created by reality TV all-star Mark Burnett, screened on NBC, ESPN and Versus, and saw the participation of Sylvester Stallone, Sugar Ray Leonard and Tony Danza. From 2005-09, its four seasons were seen by 180 million, according to a Deadline article.

The rebooting surprised some of us, but maybei t shouldn’t have, as reboots are all the rage. See the success of the reborn “Roseanne” show. Suits have decided that concepts, successful ones, don’t go bad, they just go stale. Give people a break, and then trot them out to a generation unfamiliar with them, and since it worked once, chances are good that it’ll work again.

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