By Ryan Javier
Champs is a documentary about modern American boxing. This powerful and revealing films centers around three of the sports’ most memorable contemporary fighters – Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Bernard Hopkins.
The film holds no punches (no pun intended) as it explores the hard truths surrounding the world of championship boxing. Exposing the fact that many modern pugilists come from humble and often destitute beginnings, Champs manages to put a whole new perspective on the sport.
Growing up in low income neighborhoods in a poverty-stricken area flooded with gang activity and drugs, often boxing serves as a young man’s only hope for escape. Fighters like “Iron” Mike Tyson were born of out of the necessity to survive. Like was rough in the ghetto and many times, survival not only meant what colors that you wore, but who was the toughest kid on the block.
Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins grew up in Philly’s projects and also like Tyson, he too joined a gang, and at age seventeen, Hopkins was sentenced to eighteen years in prison. It was there that Hopkins discovered his passion and talent for boxing.
Other fighters had strong family role models. Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield’s was not only present, she provided him with a solid and lasting foundation of morals and principals. But as with the case with Iron Mike, Holyfield found a way out of poverty and obscurity through organized boxing.
Champs is extremely well put together and is full of candid and emotional interviews with boxers and insiders. Champs serves as an exploratory look into boxing, as well as cautionary tale of the woes of overnight success and instant fame. As a huge fan of documentaries, I can say that this is one of the best produced and most well-rounded films of recent. I really enjoyed this interesting film and I highly recommend it. Champs is available on BluRay and DVD.