Reality bug bites boxer Vijender Singh

Vijender Singh, who won a medal at World Boxing Championships recently, launches 'The Contender', the first ever reality show in action sports, in Mumbai on Friday. PTI

The boxer, who a few days ago added another feather to his cap by winning bronze medal at the World Boxing Championship in Milan, will don the role in the Indian version of the action sport reality television show 'The Contender'. "I will guide and counsel the participants. I hope to bring in my international experience to use for the eager contenders," Vijender said.

"Boxing, as a sport, is very popular across the world, but the situation is not the same in India. Cricket has always been the lifeline here. It's high time we realise the enormous talent India has to offer as far as other sports are concerned," he said. "I rejected many offers to participate in TV shows but accepted this as 'Contender' will promote boxing in India and take it to another level by providing platform to the deserving candidates," the boxer said.

'The Contender' is a reality show that follows a group of boxers competing with each other in a single elimination style-competition. The show is being adapted into Indian format by international content and production firm, Bulldog Media and Entertainment along with media conglomerate Percept Picture Company.

"The show will help in taking the sport to the homes as people will understand what's called a punch and how the sport is judged," the pugilist from Haryana said. "The show will try to touch the emotional chord with the viewers and give them a first hand look into the real-life hopes, triumphs and defeat of the contestants," Bulldog Entertainment Vice-Chairman and MD Akash Sharma said.

While 16 boxers vie for a prize money of USD one million in the original version of the show, the number of contestants and prize money for the Indian version is yet to be decided. The show will be aired on Zee TV some time in 2010, Percept Joint Managing Director Shailendra Singh said.

Bulldog and Percept will launch a promotional activity, 'Fight Nights', a platform wherein amateur and upcoming boxing talent will try their hands against a professional opponent in the boxing ring, Singh said.

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