This summer’s revival of the boxing show The Contender premieres Aug. 24 on the premium cable channel Epix and will feature 33-year-old Philadelphia boxer Tyrone “Young Gun” Brunson among its contestants.
He and 15 others vying for a “six-figure” purse will be coached by Philadelphia trainer Naazim Richardson and boxing coach Freddie Roach, according to the network, which is bringing back a show that ran for four seasons between 2005 and 2009, beginning on NBC before moving to ESPN and then to Versus.
The new edition will be hosted by Andre “Son of God” Ward.
The show’s first season was marked by the suicide of Philadelphia contestant Najai Turpin, who killed himself before the show’s premiere.
Epix, which was added to to Comcast’s lineup earlier this month, is owned by MGM Television. Mark Burnett, who created The Contender — and is best known for producing Survivor and The Apprentice — was, until Thursday, the president of MGM Television, when it was announced he’d been promoted to MGM’s worldwide TV chairman.
Here’s how Epix is describing Philadelphia’s contender, Brunson:
“At a time when he needed to sell drugs to support himself at the age of 13, a stepfather’s ultimatum: be grounded or go to the boxing gym was his saving grace. Now a humble father of two, and sitting with one of the best rankings in the competition, his 24 KOs send a signal that he will not fight silently but his cocky attitude has beat him more than just once.”