The best fighter in the world - Manny Pacquiao - lives and trains in the Philippines. The heavyweight champion - Wladimir Klitschko - is a Ukranian who fights primarily in Germany. To the mainstream American sports fan, boxing has become something of a niche sport.
Not so to the American entertainment public. Boxing has long provided Hollywood with compelling story lines for the big and small screens. Mark Wahlberg's "The Fighter" has received six Golden Globe nominations, and on Tuesday, FX premiered its contribution to the genre with "Lights Out," a series built around mythical former heavyweight champion Patrick "Lights" Leary.
Holt McCallany, who plays Leary, and his "Lights Out" co-star Pablo Schreiber have been relentlessly working the media circuit to hype the show. They were both recently asked why boxing makes for good drama. "The thing about boxing that makes it great for film or television is that it's life and death, it's inherently dramatic," said McCallany, who studied film of former Long Island heavyweight Gerry Cooney for his role. "You can't lie in the boxing ring because if you do, you get exposed very fast."
Schreiber added: "I think it's a very visceral metaphor. The idea of pugilistic, hand-to-hand combat is about as basic as it gets in terms of communication. One person against the other, battling it out for supremacy, that's good drama."