There's no quit in 'Contender'


NEW YORK -- ESPN is returning to the ring Sept. 4 to begin a third season of "The Contender," the first to feature the full, uncut fights that will air on ESPN2.

It will be the second season on ESPN, which took over the DreamWorks Television-Mark Burnett Prods. series after it debuted in 2005 on NBC.

Sugar Ray Leonard will continue as the host, with appearances by Oscar De La Hoya and Adam Corolla plus trainers James "Buddy" McGirt and Jose "Pepe" Correa.

This season, 16 more boxers will vie for the $1 million purse, up from last season's $500,000. It also will have the super-middleweight class. The entire fight will appear each week on ESPN2, the network said Monday.

The third season premieres at 10 p.m. Sept. 4 on ESPN. Executive producers are ESPN Content Development, Mark Burnett and Jeffrey Katzenberg; co-executive producers are Jeff Wald, Eric Van Wagenen, Page Feldman, Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey and Brian Edwards.