This epic story of the rise of three of the most successful boxers of our time challenges the perception of the American Dream through the intimately personal life trajectories of Evander Holyfield, Bernard Hopkins and Mike Tyson. Much like modern day gladiators, our protagonists come from the bottom rungs of society, choosing the path of boxing or “the poor man’s sport,” as a last resort, and an alternative to much bleaker options such as prison or, worse yet, death. Following these fighters’ paths from success to self-discovery, they recount their battles while illuminating our country’s most critical social issues, including the struggle with poverty, racial inequality, broken homes, drug and alcohol abuse, violence and the failures of our educational and prison systems. CHAMPS unearths the unique resilience of these men in the face of life’s most difficult obstacles – from personal finance to sustained brain injury – and highlights how our society and their industry exalts their fleeting success, but leaves them without the skills, protections, medical care and training that they need to succeed outside of the ring. We call them “champs” in sport, but cannot help but ask whether they can truly be champions in life.
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