Boxing may just be one of the purest sports around these days, although MMA would have something to say about that. Two men, one ring and only one winner are the basics of the sweet science of pugilism. But it’s also the kind of sport that has a deep rot permeating inside of it.
Crooked fighters, promoters looking to line their own pockets and the mob have long been a part of the sport, and as 50 Cent so eloquently puts it in the trailer for Champs,“some of the toughest mothers in the world are letting guys who couldn’t make it take advantage of them”.
Boxing, “the poor man’s sport,” has long given kids from America’s roughest neighborhoods an opportunity to escape violence with violence. But with success in the ring comes new fights for which there is no training: champions are made and broken in the blink of an eye, and young men thrust into the spotlight are often ill-equipped for the fame and fortune that accompany a title belt. Built around the stories of heavyweight legends Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Bernard Hopkins, CHAMPS balances these uncensored recollections with gorgeous reenactments, classic fight footage, and candid interviews with Mark Wahlberg, Denzel Washington, Ron Howard, Spike Lee, Mary J. Blige and 50 Cent. More than just a sports documentary, CHAMPS examines what it means to pursue the American Dream through boxing, painting a picture of a controversial and unregulated sport in a moment of crisis.
I’ve always been fascinated by boxing. It’s a sport where the men involved throw concussions at one another a hundred times every match, a brutal and unforgiving experience that can make or break you. The documentary hits iTunes on March 31, if you’re willing to go the extra round and watch it.
Last Updated: February 17, 2015