There are a lot of TV shows out there and in this golden age of TV streaming, the choices have never been greater. So how do you cut through the noise and find the “Best of” for any chosen topic? Well, we’re here to help celebrate and shine a spotlight on some of the latest, greatest and unforgettable shows through the years.
For our ongoing series of articles depicting the best sport-themed TV shows, our attention this time turns to boxing. From real life biographical dramas to simple but effective underdog anime, there’s a good choice to whet your appetite.
Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favourites, feel free to comment below and we’ll get them added on!
Lights Out revolves around a former heavyweight boxing champion called Patrick “Lights” Leary. The title of the show is a clever double entendre unto itself, depicting the lights going out on this boxing champion’s time in the ring and also relating to Patrick’s issues dealing with life outside the ring.
It’s a brutal, unflinching drama, pulling absolutely no punches as it depicts a provocative look at the prolific sport both inside and outside the ring. If you’re looking for a compelling drama, this one is definitely worth checking out.
Levius Cromwell is a prized metal fighter, raised by his Uncle Zack after a tragic accident involving his Mother in the past. The story revolves around this blonde-haired fighter and through Zack’s guidance and shared passion for boxing, this sport-based anime sees Levius rise the ranks to superstardom, overcoming numerous foes and mental ghosts from the past along the way.
As an action-packed anime, expect a dizzying array of different fights along the way, culminating in a climactic clash at the end with a formidable foe who crops up throughout the season, spread across three episodes. There’s a pretty nice twist here too, but we won’t spoil that here! Suffice to say, the past ties in to the present in a really nice way, adding some meaning and gravitas to this final fight.
Blow By Blow
Blow by Blow essentially serves as a simple broadcasting program that looks at the latest and greatest upcoming fighters. The show itself aired in the Philippines back in 1995 and given the dated feel of this show, a lot of the material hasn’t aged particularly well.
However, Blow by Blow does comprehensively break down a number of different fighters. For that alone, boxing enthusiasts and data geeks should be in their element with this one.
Megalo Box is another boxing anime, one that’s under absolutely no illusions about what it’s trying to portray. At the heart of this one lies Jung Dog, an underground fighter who goes by the alias “Gearless Joe.” This is your typical underdog story, framed around a tournament that encapsulates its 13 episode arc. Fighting against some formidable foes, Joe sets out to gain the world’s most prestigious mecha boxing championship, Megalonia.
The series s absolutely gorgeous to look at and the art style is vibrant, standing out next to other anime of its kind. There’s obvious influences to the classics of the genre, including Cowboy Bebop, which helps Megalo Box stand tall in the squared circle.
Monzon: A Knockout Story
Monzón is a 13 episode Argentinian drama that follows the tumultuous life of acclaimed boxer Carlos Monzón. With a split focus between his past upbringing and present time in prison, Monzón is a gritty, methodically paced series that does well to keep things consistent throughout its run-time.
At the heart of this drama, and to which everything inevitably revolves around, is Carlos’ late wife Alicia Muñiz. Found dead after being pushed over the balcony, Carlos is inevitably the number 1 suspect and what follows is a two-way investigation – one in the present with Prosecutor Gustavo Parisi gathering evidence and eye-witness accounts and the other with the real-life story of Carlos told through the years.
Along with this investigation, the story also follows the star-studded career of this boxer too, from his early days training with Amilcar Brusa through to rising to the top of the fighting pack and competing for the belt.
While Resurrection Blvd does have boxing as its central theme, this series plays out much closer to a familial drama. Specifically, a struggling Latino family. It would be very easy to write this one off as another soapy melodrama but the show perfectly captures a slice of life revolving around a boxing hierarchy that’s not always showcased effectively on the small screen.
The crux of the drama revolves around the Santiago family who have raised three generations of boxers. While vying to remain at thee top of the boxing podium, the family struggle with tough life choices and other family members breaking away from tradition. At the heart of all this lies Roberto Santiago, who struggles with his illness while watching his family trying to cope with the hardships that come their way.
This is a decent show and definitely worth checking out if you’re in the mood for a more familial slice of drama.
Joe VS Joe
Joe VS Joe is a very simple and very short anime (6 episodes in total!) about two tearaway youths living opposite lifestyles. On the one hand you have our protagonist Joe Akamine who comes from a medium-income home and lives an ordinary life, but for a betrayal that haunts him to this day.
On the other hand you’ve got Joe Yuuki, a rich-kid who lives extravagantly and happens to be Shibuya’s number 1 DJ. Desperate to show off how good he is at everything, both Joe’s inevitably butt heads and square off in the ring.
This anime does well to juxtapose these two lifestyles while building up nicely to a final conflict between the two. With a shorter episode run compared to the others in this list, Joe VS Joe is a series you could very easily get through in an evening or two, making it an easy one to recommend.
So, there we have it, our pick for the best TV shows through the years about boxing!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!