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Fox's 'The Next Great Champ' to premiere September 10


By Reality TV World staff, 08/10/2004 

Officially confirming reports that have circulated for several weeks, Fox has announced that its The Next Great Champ reality boxing series will premiere on Friday, September 10 at 9PM ET/PT.

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In addition to beating Mark Burnett and NBC's competing The Contender series to the airwaves by two months, Fox also intends to make sure it throws the first broadcast punch in the reality boxing wars by airing a "special preview trailer" of the program during a repeat airing of the network's Celebrity Boxing 2 special on Thursday, August 12 at 8:30PM ET/PT.

During The Next Great Champ, twelve aspiring boxers from across the country will lay it all on the line - both in and out of the boxing ring. The winner will receive a professional contract with Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions and a title fight within the World Boxing Organization (WBO).

In The Next Great Champ, eight-time World Champion Oscar De La Hoya and reality television powerhouse Endemol USA have joined together for a show that will turn young, raw boxers into top prizefighters. The hopefuls will push themselves to the limit as they slug it out to win a boxing contract and a title fight.

De La Hoya won his first belt in a WBO fight and is currently the WBO Middleweight Champion. "I'm very excited about the 12 fighters who punched their way onto The Next Great Champ competition," stated De La Hoya in the network's announcement. "At the end of our series, one of these 12 will earn the title of 'The Next Great Champ.' He will then get to experience the thrill of a live fight against a WBO opponent."

During the show, each of the 12 fighters will be joined on his journey by someone from his personal life -- a wife, girlfriend or family member. That personal relationship will add tension, drama and a first-hand opportunity for viewers to see pugilism through the eyes of a non-boxer.

The fighters will prepare under the guidance of legendary trainers Lou Duva, who has trained a long list of champions such as three-time Heavyweight Champion Evander Holyfield, and Tommy Brooks, who is one of boxing's leading trainers and has worked with former Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson. Along the way, De La Hoya will be a mentor, friend and motivator.

Over the course of the series, only those who have what it takes will advance from challenge to challenge, round to round, and fight to fight. The stakes to be the last man standing are high as there can be only one winner - The Next Great Champ.

The Next Great Champ is produced by Endemol USA, a leading producer of television programming specializing in reality and non-scripted genres for network and cable television, in association with Golden Boy Promotions. The Next Great Champ is executive-produced by Paul Buccieri, Joe Livecchi, Oscar De La Hoya and Richard Schaefer. David Goldberg is President of Endemol USA.

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