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Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Return of boxing reality shows

By Dan Rafael

There must be some big fights on deck because the reality programs centered on those fights are upon us. This week brings the debuts of a new edition of "24/7" on HBO and "All Access" on Showtime.

The four-part "24/7 Pacquiao/Marquez" series, which chronicles the build-up to the fourth showdown between rivals Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez on Dec. 8, will debut on Saturday night (well, really Sunday morning -- it airs at 12:15 a.m.) immediately following HBO's live card from Atlantic City, N.J., featuring lightweight titlist Antonio DeMarco defending against Adrien Broner and a heavyweight match between Seth Mitchell and Johnathon Banks.

In a departure from the traditional "24/7" format, the debut episode revisits the first three Pacquiao-Marquez fights (a featherweight title fight in 2004, a junior lightweight title fight in 2008 and a welterweight title fight in 2011). I can't blame the producers for going that route. We have seen Pacquiao and Marquez on "24/7" so many times that it has to be tough to keep churning out episodes on them.

Included in that first episode are interviews with Pacquiao, Marquez, trainers Freddie Roach and Nacho Beristain, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum and HBO commentator Larry Merchant.

The second and third episodes air on subsequent Saturday nights, with the finale airing on Dec. 7, the eve of the HBO PPV fight from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Showtime's two-part "All Access: Cotto vs. Trout" premiers on Friday night at 10:30 ET/PT. You can check out the trailer here: http://s.sho.com/Ry2Ckb.

The series focuses on junior middleweight titlist Austin Trout's defense against former titleholder and superstar Miguel Cotto. They meet Dec. 1 (Showtime, 9 p.m. ET/PT) at New York's Madison Square Garden, where Cotto is a huge attraction.

The first episode takes viewers behind the scenes and into the lives of the fighters at their training camps as they get ready for the fight.

The second episode, which debuts Dec. 15 (10 p.m. ET/PT) on Showtime, is an epilogue to the fight. It will take viewers inside the fight-week build-up and cover the bout and the aftermath.