HBO and filmmaker Peter Berg will team up for the innovative new primetime reality series ON FREDDIE ROACH, directed and executive produced by Emmy® nominee Peter Berg (“Friday Night Lights”) and executive produced by Jim Lampley, Sarah Aubrey and Michael Price, it was announced today by HBO.
Presented by HBO and a co-production of Film 44 and Atticus Entertainment, the cinéma-vérité series focuses on Freddie Roach, the world-famous boxing trainer who owns and operates the famed Wildcard Boxing Club in Hollywood, where he has produced a host of world champions. The cameras will follow Roach as he works with future stars, engages the continuous stream of celebrity visitors to his gym, finds time to sort through and balance his myriad of outside interests, and manages his new role with USA Boxing, all while fighting Parkinson’s disease, an ailment very likely linked to his own boxing past. The six-episode series is set to debut in early 2012.
“We are truly excited about this innovative new reality series that will allow HBO to partner with Peter Berg,” said Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming. “Freddie Roach is an extraordinary person and many of our subscribers are familiar with his superior work in training some of the world’s premier fighters. This will be a fascinating and unique series.”
“HBO’s enthusiasm in supporting a less-conventional, vérité style of storytelling is why they continue to create original and truly innovative programming,” said Peter Berg. “It’s why they are the best and we are very excited to be working with them.”
A native of Dedham, Mass., Freddie Roach has an extensive amateur boxing background. He fought as a professional under the tutelage of legendary Hall of Fame trainer Eddie Futch, ending his professional boxing career in 1987 with a record of 41 wins and 13 losses. Upon retiring, Roach became Futch’s apprentice. In 1992, Mickey Rourke financed his first gym, the Outlaw Boxing Club. Roach has trained more than 20 world champions, including Manny Pacquiao, Amir Khan, Oscar de la Hoya and Mike Tyson. He has been honored five times as Trainer of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America and has been inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Olympic Committee announced a unique partnership with Roach in an effort to ensure that America’s top amateur fighters have access to the finest training in preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. This partnership will create a program allowing up to ten Olympic hopefuls to train at the Wild Card Gym, which has become synonymous with world-class performance.
The 51-year-old bachelor lives next door to his mother, just a few miles from Wild Card. Roach has been in the corner for some of the most memorable moments of the past few years on HBO Sports’ flagship “World Championship Boxing” series, including the consensus 2010 Fight of the Year, when Amir Khan defeated Marcos Maidana in Las Vegas.