‘Toughman’ rights go to FX cabler

Series on Friday slate

FX has acquired the exclusive TV rights to “The Original Toughman Contest.”

The cabler will run the amateur boxing program as a weekly series beginning in mid-summer. The series is tentatively slated to run on Friday nights at 10 p.m.

While the violent Toughman competition was created in 1979, the sports has only run on television via pay-per-view. Showtime promoted three Toughman PPV events from 1993 though 1995.

FX will produce 22 to 26 episodes of the series, said Peter Liguori, president of the web.

The show will culminate in the late winter with several championship rounds. In these final shows, 64 fighters will be whittled down to one winner who takes home $50,000. None of the other participates get paid.

Though Toughman features the brutality of professional fighting, Liguori said that he didn’t expect the network to receive much flack over the show.

Instead of the 10 three-minute rounds in boxing, Toughman’s participants fight three one-minute rounds. In addition, the Toughman competition uses 16-ounch gloves, which are softer than the 10-ounch gloves of boxing.

“The guys don’t get hurt, but it has the excitement and toughness of a brawl,” said Liguori.

FX licensed Toughman from Litton Syndications and AdoreAble Promotions.