Asian muscle mayhem attracts Canadian fighters Trevor Smandych and Alain Sylvestre

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A reality show with blood, guts, heart-tugging drama and a dash of comedy is making waves in the Far East. Contender Asia, the Asian version of the American boxing reality show pits the thoughts and actions of 16 hand-picked Muay Thai fighters from around the world.

The show follows 16 aspiring kickboxers including two Canadians from training camp through an evolving series of outdoor challenges and real, sanctioned matches over 16 episodes. For the first eight episodes, the winner of the fight-of-the-week will be rewarded with a guaranteed spot in the Quarter Finals. After four weeks of these Quarter Finals, two weeks of Semi-Finals will follow. The total prize pool is US$250,000.

In the show’s last week, the final victor will claim the title of Contender Champion and the money prize. The two Canadians on the show are Trevor Smandych and Alain Sylvestre, the current holder of Canada’s Middleweight Muay Thai Championship title.

The Contender Asia website says Quebec-born Alain lives in Ottawa and trains at Ronin MMA. A hard worker, he puts a lot of heart into his fights and will be a tough opponent to wear down. Alain has fought at many international events around the world.

Trevor Smandych is one of the most outstanding fighters to emerge from Canada, with a raft of international titles under his belt. Entering the world of martial arts at 11 and training in traditional karate under renowned coach Mike Miles, Trevor switched to Muay Thai and kickboxing at 13, preferring the full contact form allowed in these disciplines. After winning his first fight at 16 against a much larger opponent, coach Miles gave Trevor the nickname ‘TNT’ for his sudden and often lethal explosions in the ring.

Trevor has represented Canada at the IFMA World Championships. Outside the ring, Trevor is an instructor whose technical accuracy and genuine nature makes him an excellent coach. His armory includes superb elbow and knee skills, and a deadly roundhouse kick. Trevor’s ambition is to be a Professional World Muay Thai Champion.

At a press conference held in Singapore recently, Riaz Mehta, the CEO of Imagine Omni Media and executive producer of Contender Asia, said: “We have established a new standard in Asian television and raised the bar in Asian productions based in Asia. Putting together this program, we’ve done an Asian first, it was made here, and it’s being distributed in the United States.”