Boxing is a sport that really takes stamina, speed and guts. To step in a ring in front of millions of people and go toe to toe with another person in a fight can really test someone and push them to their limits. What you never really see is how many boxers get into the ring. What leads these guys to strap on gloves and be willing to take punches to the face when most people would try to avoid this?
Champs is a Starz documentary that interviews some of the most famous boxers and the most famous celebrities from the past few decades. What really differentiates this documentary from others is that it doesn’t just stick to the cliche boundaries of the backstories of the boxers, it goes into the sociological and cultural factors of boxing.
“Poverty has it’s own self-perpetuating logic. When you are strapped for cash and you need to survive in the short-term, you start to adopt certain practices that in the long-term end up preventing you from taking advantage of all the opportunities that may be out there for you.”
You get to hear the points of view from legendary boxers like Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson, and Bernard Hopkins. They explain what led them to boxing, their hardships, and how they tried to escape what society had pre-determined their future to be.
What really gets to me when watching this film is something that takes me back to childhood: My Aunt died at a young age from lung cancer. My Dad was an unbreakable figure in my life, so watching him break down at the funeral really got to me. Watching Mike Tyson — one of my favorite boxers of all time — break down gave me a similar feeling. You watch these men take the hardest of beatings in the ring, and then see them be taken down by some of the most relatable things really hits home.
“Boxing is interesting in that it’s an escape from the violence and poverty of many American neighborhoods… but you’re escaping through violence itself.”
What Champs tries to do is illustrate the hope for the American Dream, yet show how elusive it really is. We’re all brought up to think we’re going to be rich and famous, but the slow realization is that we won’t get to that point no matter how hard we try.
Champs is really a film that needs to be viewed to really understand the scope of what it tries to show the viewer. It really attempts to show the courage of what it takes to be a man among such hardships. We all fail at times. We all hit major turning points in our lives. Champs shows 3 men who have been through the best of the best and the absolute worst of the worst.
Champs will be available in theaters, On Demand, and iTunes. Find out where to see the film here: http://gwi.io/8m2zu1
Twitter: @ChampsFilm #ChampsFilm
Mike Tyson Twitter: @MikeTyson https://twitter.com/MikeTyson
Evander Holyfield Twitter: @holyfield https://twitter.com/holyfield
FOLLOW JEFF SORENSEN ON TWITTER
Jeff Sorensen is an author, writer and occasional comedian living in Detroit, Michigan. You can look for more of his work on The Huffington Post, UPROXX, BGR and by just looking up his name.