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The Boxing Episode

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"Boxing has nothing to do with logic. It is sport taken to its purest nut. It is muscles, sweat, guts, torque, load...I mean, you ever meet a logical person who would bite off another man's ear?"
Ray Kowalski, Due South ("Mountie and Soul")

Largely associated with Mystery of the Week television series, this is an episode that is wholly or in part structured around the sport of boxing. These episodes tend to crop up most often in action/adventure and crime solving series, but they can also be played for laughs in sitcoms.

The episode may simply take place in the world of boxing, where the characters must interact with boxers and coaches to solve some problem. In these cases, one character will often reveal a detailed knowledge of boxing that will only exist for this one episode. Another style of the trope is for one character to, by choice or not, step into the ring. Comedic examples usually make a wimpy character struggle to harness his inner badass to survive, while dramatic examples more often showcase the fighting skills of a tough character.

Mixed Martial Arts may be used as a substitute for boxing. May involve an element of Fight Clubbing, Gladiator Games or a Forced Prizefight. Often this will be the result of a former boxer falling on hard times and entering a world of underground fighting to make ends meet, provide for his ailing child/wife/etc, or as an attempt to hang on to the limelight.

Compare with Pro Wrestling Episode and Baseball Episode. For films and other works that are actually about boxing, see Sports Stories.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • A chapter of the Cat's Eye manga has Toshio being roped into representing his precinct in the Tokyo Metropolitan Police boxing tournament, as while he's rusty he practiced boxing in high school and maintained a powerful right hook, while his opponent has only started recently... After a long karate career. Toshio, who was planning to finally propose to Hitomi if he won, wins by disqualification, as he bets everything on his first hook and charges with such fury his opponents panics and kicks him hard enough to knock him out.
  • The very first chapter of City Hunter has Ryo hired to assassinate the the top contender for the Japanese title, as he got his chance to fight the champion by murdering the previous one, and the victim's fiancee knows.
  • One of the early episodes of Digimon Data Squad involved the Monster of the Week interfering with Touma's idol's boxing matches. However, he had been shown to be a proficient boxer before this episode, and his Digimon partner wears boxing gloves, so this didn't come entirely out of nowhere...
  • An episode of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex involved Batou investigating a famous boxer suspected of criminal activity.
  • Gokusen has a boxing episode, as part of a Save The School plotline.
  • The first episode of Kill la Kill had Ryuko Matoi take on Takaharu Fukuroda in a boxing match, though she was allowed to use her sword.
  • One Piece has the main character box against someone, against exactly one person... Afro Luffy is the result.
  • An episode of Ox Tales, entitled Out For The Count for its original English dub but now more widely known as I'm The Champ, sees Gaylord the gorilla get his hands on a pair of boxing gloves. Infuriated by the ape's new-found hobby of rampaging through the forest punching anything he encounters, Ollie challenges him to a fight and is promptly knocked flat with one punch. The rest of the episode sees Ollie training for a rematch with the gorilla - including sparring sessions with a kangaroo and an elephant - and concludes with an extremely rowdy bout that ultimately sees Ollie KO his opponent more by luck than judgement.
  • An early chapter of Shaman King had Yoh use the ghost of a boxing coach to help out his pupil. At the end of the chapter, after getting all kinds of bruises during the fight, Yoh decides that he doesn't want to partner with the ghost of a boxing champ anymore.

    Asian Animation 
  • In the Lamput episode "Boxing", the docs chase Lamput into a boxing arena. Lamput morphs into a pair of boxing gloves around Slim Doc's hands, dragging him into a boxing match with a much stronger boxer.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman:
    • #371 is a boxing story that scarcely features Batman at all.
    • Much earlier, one of the first stories centers around the top contender for the heavyweight championship poisoning the champion to win by default-and Batman successfully defending the title in the champion's place in a single round.
  • Zigzagged in Birds of Prey. The cover of issue 106 is done in the style of a boxing poster promoting a bout between Big Barda and Knockout, but the actual story doesn't involve the sport at all. Punching, on the other hand, is very much present.
  • Cazador: The title character had to take on a cybernetics-enhanced zombie Mike Tyson in one issue, as a homage to Superman vs Muhammad Ali mentioned below.
  • Combat Kelly and his Deadly Dozen #3 is a flashback issue explaining how Kelly wound up commanding the Deadly Dozen, and focuses on his pre-war career as an army boxer.
  • Daredevil at one point had a Heroic BSoD / Easy Amnesia combo, and in a new guise of some guy who's name isn't important, he started boxing. This makes him for his own experience a bit of a Legacy Character because his father was a boxing champion as well. This happens for a few issues so it's not an "episode" per se more of an arc, but still goes.
  • In Diabolik the story "Death in the Fist" is a long homage to the boxing comic Big Ben Bolt (the publisher of Diabolik having started out as the Italian translator of the series), and is a Whole Episode Flashback of when a young Diabolik mistook a boxing gym (ran by an aged Expy of Big Ben Bolt) for the cover of a training center for skilled criminals and infiltrated it, only to start respecting the owner enough to remain even after realizing the truth and avenging him when he's murdered by a mobster who thought himself smarter than he was.
  • In Harley's Little Black Book #5 Harley and Superman square off in the boxing ring in a story that was an homage/parody of the famous Superman vs Muhammad Ali comic.
  • There was a boxing-themed Hellraiser comic called "The Sweet Science".
  • In an issue of Justice League the Blue Beetle challenges Guy Gardner to a boxing match when he gets sick of Guy calling him out of shape and useless. Beetle wins, which would be surprising considering that Guy was one of the team's heavy hitters and Beetle was the comedy relief and tech-support guy... except for the fact that Guy was a Green Lantern without his Power Ring in a fistfight with a Badass Normal.
  • Marvel Two-in-One Annual #7: A famous story where The Thing and several other Marvel heroes fight the Champion of the Universe in a series of boxing matches. This comic was later made into a Wrestling Episode of Dial M for Monkey.
  • Spider-Man: In a very early issue, Peter Parker is getting bullied by Flash Thompson when a teacher sees it and suggests that the two of them should "settle their differences in the boxing ring". This leaves Peter with the dilemma of how to box against Flash without accidentally murdering him thanks to having Super-Strength. He ends up knocking Flash out in a single punch, then claiming to the onlookers that Flash obviously must have taken a fall on purpose because he's secretly Spider-Man!
  • Superman vs Muhammad Ali. Incredibly enough, Muhammad Ali wins, in a Justified case, Superman didn't have his Yellow-sun strength.

    Film — Live Action 
  • Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man, oddly enough, in which the Invisible Man is an up-and-coming boxer. Leads to a memorable scene where the invisible boxer must win a prize fight—with the very unathletic Costello acting as his visible stand-in, miming along with the real punches.
  • "Any Old Port" is a Laurel and Hardy short where Ollie agrees to enter a boxing match for some quick money - he agrees to enter Stanley.

  • The Ellery Queen short stories "Mind Over Matter" and "A Matter of Seconds" involve boxing, and Ellery is established as a boxing fan.
  • A Tom Swift book features Tom facing off against an evil kickboxing contender and developing an exoskeleton that allows him to face the kickboxer in the ring.

    Live Action TV 
  • Are You Being Served?: Captain Peacock is challenged to a boxing match, but backs out. Mr. Humphries is chosen to take his place in a wrestling match and loses. Then Mrs. Slocombe enters the ring.
  • The A-Team:
    • "Champ!" Face invests a substantial portion of the Team's money in a boxer named Billy Marquette, but in the process they discover that a local sleaze named Sonny Monroe is rigging boxing matches. B.A. goes undercover as an unbeatable boxer so the team can take Monroe down.
    • "Pros and Cons" involved an illegal prison fight ring. Hannibal, B.A. and Murdock get themselves arrested so they can look into it (the scene where they crashed a car through a police station to get arrested made it to the opening credits), with B.A. being selected as a fighter. To prevent them from being separated, B.A. pretends to be a deaf-mute, with Hannibal acting as his interpreter.
  • Arrow had an episode revolving around a vigilante who owned a boxing gym, based on Wildcat of the comics. While no one boxed, the episode did feature Oliver's famous boxing glove arrow, so it counts.
  • One of Babylon 5's episodes, "TKO", has an old friend of Garibaldi's (a boxer named Walker Smith) come back to Babylon 5 for an alien boxing match. This is also remarkable as one of the only episodes of the show in which almost nothing is important to the overall arc of the show.
  • Barbary Coast: In "Arson and Old Lace", fishermen on the Barbary Coast are paying protection money to The Shark, though no one seems to know who he is. Cable eyes a handful of suspects, arranging a boxing match to smoke out the Shark...a match that pits the champion against Cash.
  • Batman (1966) has an episode where Batman had to fight The Riddler with a silly accent in a boxing match.
  • The Battlestar Galactica episode "Unfinished Business" uses this as a premise to let the main characters beat the tar out of one another over recent goings-on midway through season 3.
  • On Billions "Dollar" Bill and Mafee get into an altercation and their bosses decide to resolve the matter through a charity boxing match. Both men train for the event but turn out to be subpar boxers. They can throw a good punch or two but lack the stamina for a lengthy bout. The match quickly turns into a Wimp Fight. By round three they can barely lift up their gloves. By round four they can barely stand. They both collapse before round five and the match is declared a double loss.
  • Bonanza has "The Fighters," in which Hoss finds himself forced into a fight he really doesn't want, against an arrogant young pro heavyweight boxer.
  • Bones and Booth fly to Las Vegas to investigate a murder, and discover a women's underground MMA fighting ring.
  • Cannon: The episode "Arena of Fear" deals with a boxer (Nick Nolte) who is tricked into thinking he killed another man in a bar fight, as part of a plan to get him to throw a huge fight.
  • El Chavo del ocho had an episode where Don Ramón (who was a professional boxer) tries to give Chavo some boxing lessons. Naturally, Hilarity Ensues all over the place.
  • Cold Case:
    • "Yo Adrian", doubling as a Whole-Plot Reference to Rocky, only more realistic in that the boxer died from too many blows to the head after fighting too long.
    • Although it is not the main focus, boxing also plays a significant role in "Shore Leave". The Victim of the Week was a young marine about to ship out to Korea. On the day he was murdered, he defeated a petty officer who was the ship's reigning boxing champ, making the petty officer a viable suspect. The opening scene of the episode is the boxing match between them.
  • Criminal Minds has "The Bittersweet Science". A borderline psychotic wannabe boxer starts beating to death anyone who mocks him. ("So I'm a punching bag, huh?!")
  • CSI, episode 3x07, "Fight Night." Grissom investigates the death of a boxer in the ring that appears to be murder.
  • CSI: NY's "Tales from the Undercard." In the course of the investigation, it's revealed that Mac is a boxing fan, which helps him identify the victim as a specific boxer due to certain injuries that occurred in bouts he'd watched. Turns out, the guy had come out of retirement to join an underground league.
  • Dan August: The episode "The Meal Ticket," in which the murder victim is a boxer who collapses and dies from an overdose of drugs.
  • Decoy has "The Challenger," in which a mobster tries to buy a boxer's contract.
  • Dempsey and Makepeace: In "The Prizefighter," Dempsey and Makepeace find the broken body of a bare-knuckle prizefighter on the street carrying counterfeit money. Posing as an American couple named Dwayne and Lu, they manage to get into the illegal underground fight.
  • Diagnosis: Murder: "Standing Eight Count." A boxer whom Dr. Jack Stewart idolized was framed for the murder of the boxer who beat him and turned down a rematch due to health issues.
  • The Dick Van Dyke Show: In one of the many Flashback episodes, Rob is in the Army, where everyone has to learn boxing and have at least three fights. He is the champion-of his unit. He has to confront a much better boxer from another unit - who who later goes on to become the world middleweight champion.
  • The Doctor Blake Mysteries: An exhibition boxing match turns sour when one of the boxers is seemingly beaten to death in front of hundreds of witnesses in "A Lethal Combination." Blake must determine the cause of death. Lucien's training as a boxer is touched on, as Jean asks him if he is tempted to pull the gloves on again.
  • Due South:
    • As mentioned in the intro quote, the third season episode "Mountie and Soul" focuses on boxing. Detective Stanley Ray Kowalski is identified as not only a boxing fan, but also a layman coach for a young boxer implicated in a fellow boxer's death.
      Kowalski: I coulda been...I coulda been....
      Francesca: A contender?
      Kowalski: Yeah, how'd you know?
      Francesca: Lucky guess.
    • The first season episode "Diefenbaker's Day Off" also features boxing, since Fraser and Ray Vecchio help a former boxer.
  • Dusty's Trail: In "John J. Callahan", Callahan will win $500 in a boxing match if he can last 5 minutes against the Champ. But the Champ has kidnapped Mrs. Brookhaven.
  • Ellery Queen: "The Adventure of the Sunday Punch". During a practice bout, a lucky shot knocks champion boxer Kid Hogan unconscious. He revives enough to sip some water from his manager's "swill bottle," then falls comatose and is soon pronounced dead. An autopsy reveals he was poisoned, and the "swill bottle" was loaded with poison.
  • Family Matters: In the episode "Requiem for an Urkel," when the series' main protagonist Steve Urkel (a nerdy, 98-pound weakling) has problems with a bully and the two get into a scuffle at school, a teacher has the two settle their differences in the ring. Urkel winds up receiving a beat down… but the others who were threatened by the bully declare their intent to fight the bully after he finishes off Urkel, causing him to run off.
  • A boxer (Ben Murphy) arrives on Fantasy Island to clobber an opponent who beat him in the past.
  • Father Brown: In "The Chedworth Cyclone", Roy Tomkins, a washed up boxer and rival of Jed Cornish - the 'Chedworth Cyclone' - is found dead. Father Brown is drawn into the shady world of London Boxing promoter and racketeer, Denis Nelson, who is involved in illegal betting, fixed fights, and blackmail. Jed, suspected of murder, is arrested and then bailed into the care of Father Brown who uncovers Jed's secret love for Nelson's girlfriend. She has lured a town councillor into a compromising position so Nelson can obtain a boxing venue. Father Brown has to uncover the murderer, ensure a fair fight and break Nelson's hold over everyone.
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Will gets beat up by Nicky's female boxing instructor.
  • Friday The 13th: The Series has "Shadow Boxer", which naturally revolves around a pair of cursed boxing gloves.
  • Friends: "The One With The Ultimate Fighting Champion", where Monica's millionaire boyfriend wants to be the Ultimate Fighting Champion.
  • An early episode of The Fugitive has Richard Kimble working as a boxing cut man.
  • Being an Affectionate Parody of 70s cop shows, the opening credits of Funky Squad show scenes from unseen episodes. One of these shows Stix and Ponch boxing: implying that Funky Squad had a boxing episode (as many 70s cop shows did).
  • Future Cop has "Fighting O'Haven," in which Haven goes undercover as an Irish boxer in order to investigate the mysterious deaths of four other boxers.
  • The George Lopez Show: George signs Max up for a children's boxing class to deal with a bout of insomnia. Laila Ali (daughter of Muhammad Ali) guest stars.
  • Hilariously subverted in one episode of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., where Sgt. Carter challenges an obnoxious Navy officer to a boxing match, claiming to have once been known as "Killer Carter." Turns out that was in high school and the guy he challenges is a reigning fleet champion. Carter spends the whole episode training, the squad engages in a Zany Scheme to help him...and he goes down with one punch.
  • Grantchester: In episode #5.5, after a boxing match between Lucas and Matt, the door is locked. Vic and Will break in and find them both unconscious. It looks like a double suicide, but Vic knows more than he is letting on.
  • Happy Days: Ralph boxes another boy for the hand of a girl. Only one problem: he doesn't know how to box. Link. In a much later episode we see Chachi in the ring too.
  • Hell on Wheels featured an episode in season one where two characters duke it out in a boxing match, both representing the morale between the white and black workers.
  • Somewhat justified in the Highlander TV series, since Mac seems to obsessively study every form of combat he comes across (with good reason).
  • In the Hogan's Heroes episode "The Softer They Fall", Kinchloe boxes against a German (Those Wacky Nazis') as (naturally) part of a scheme to divert attention from a heist. Early in the episode, Kinch agrees to spar with the German boxer, Battling Bruno, and knocks him out. General Burkhalter tells Klink that Hitler would be furious to find out that a German was defeated by a black man, bringing up Jesse Owens' performance at the 1936 Olympics. A rematch is slated - with a German referee, German judges... and with Bruno wearing horseshoes inside his gloves. Kinch knocks out Bruno again but with their heist completed, Hogan throws in the towel, making Bruno the winner.
  • Homicide: Life on the Street: Detective Paul Falsone goes by the boxing stage name "Paul 'Sugar Ray' Falsone."
  • The Honeymooners: In "The Bensonhurst Bomber", Ralph Kramden inadvertently challenges a much tougher person to a boxing match.
  • Human Target - "Corner Man", where Chance poses as a star prize-fighter, to con a billionaire who's threatening his client into betting everything against him in a championship tournament.
  • iCarly: The one-hour special "iFight Shelby Marx", in which Carly watches MMA fighter Shelby Marx (played by Victoria Justice) on TV and, as a joke, challenges her to a match. Shelby accepts.
  • In the Heat of the Night has "The Last Round", in which a boxer who manages a gym for at-risk youths is expected to testify against a criminal he used to work with, but is tempted to resume his life of crime instead.
  • I Dream of Jeannie: "The Strongest Man In the World".
  • The Incredible Hulk (1977) got this one out of the way. In the first single-hour episode, "The Final Round", David befriends a boxer who is unwittingly delivering drugs and then is supposed to suffer a fatal heart attack during a fight. This was the first instance of Banner being conveniently being knocked out so that he doesn't Hulk out until later.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: The episode "Hundred Dollar Baby" centers around Dee taking boxing for self-defense and Charlie training for an underground fighting ring.
  • Just Shoot Me!: Dennis goes out with a female boxer, but is challenged by her ex-girlfriend, also a boxer.
  • The Jeffersons: George boxed in the Navy, and puts the equipment on again after he gets in a disagreement with another man at the gym. Louise tries to plead with the man to go easy on George:
    Louise: He only has one kidney!
    Other Guy: Really? Which one? I'd hate to waste a good kidney punch.
    • Then Louise bribes the other guy to throw the fight; meanwhile George decides to throw the fight himself, so they spend the entire fight not hitting each other, waiting for the other to hit them so they can fall down. Link.
  • In Kamen Rider OOO, one two-parternote  has the Victim of the Week be a boxer who's being forced into retirement for health reasons, while the villains try to exploit his desire to get back in the ring.
  • Knight Rider ep 4.16 "The Redemption of a Champion," in the original series.
  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent, episode 7x18, "Ten Count." Logan and Wheeler investigate the death of an amateur boxer, who happens to be the brother of a young man (also a boxer) who Logan used to mentor.
  • Leverage - "The Tap-Out Job", where Eliot poses as a MMA fighter as part of the heist, and the plot eventually leads to a (sort of) Forced Prize Fight.
  • Life On Mars investigates a boxing crime which leads to Gene being implicated as the perpetrator.
  • Little Mosque on the Prairie: "Gloves Will Keep Us Together" revolves around a boxing match between Amaar and Rev. Thorne.
  • Lois & Clark has "Requiem for a Superhero", which features the Daily Planet investigating why several boxers appear to have strength beyond mortal men. They're cyborgs.
  • London's Burning has two, both involving George, who (like his character) is a fan of the sport and a noted amateur middleweight. On one occasion he is persuaded to enter a "Policemen vs Firemen" bout for charity; on another, Billy talks him into an exhibition fight at his uncle's nightclub.
  • MacGyver (1985), episode 7x10, "Split Decision." Earl Dent, an ex-con from previous episodes, enlists MacGyver's help as a boxing coach so he can get back in the ring and maintain custody of his daughter. (MacGyver, being the good little Technical Pacifist that he is, is deeply unenthusiastic about this, but it is for a good cause.)
  • An episode of Martin has the title character facing off in a charity boxing match with fearsome Lightning Bruiser and former welterweight/middleweight/light heavyweight champion Tommy "The Hitman" Hearns.
  • M*A*S*H:
    • Trapper John (a surgeon!) is the 4077th's boxing champion; he takes on the champ of the 8063rd, a heavyweight enlisted man ("Requiem For A Lightweight").
    • Another episode has Frank Burns setting up a boxing match to settle a dispute between Klinger and Sgt. Zale ("End Run").
  • Miami Vice: In the two-parter "Down for the Count," Larry Zito goes undercover as a boxing manager in order to catch a crooked bookmaker, only to get murdered by the bookie and his accomplices.
  • Midnight Caller has "Kid Salinas," in which an illegal immigrant falls under the control of a corrupt boxing promoter.
  • Midsomer Murders has "The Noble Art". When a famous 1860 bareknuckle boxing bout is restaged in Midsomer Morchard with great pomp, dead bodies begin to pile up for Barnaby.
  • The Mighty Boosh: The show's very first episode, "Killeroo," is an example. It has Howard Moon duking it out against a face-eating kangaroo. Being an Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist, Howard is thoroughly outclassed, and only prevails when Vince crushes the kangaroo's balls.
  • Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: In the Season 2 episode "Deadweight", Miss Fisher investigates the death of a gang leader who is found outside a boxing tent. Inspector Jack Robinson goes undercover as a boxer.
  • Mission: Impossible:
    • "The Contenders" two-parter. The plot revolves around eliminating a mobster who is rigging matches, and Barney imitates a former champion (played by Special Guest champ Sugar Ray Robinson) who's making a comeback.
    • The IMF returns to boxing in "The Fighter" to expose and destroy the criminal boxing operations of the Syndicate handled by its man and his partner who is a corrupt promoter.
  • The Mod Squad: "The Comeback" reveals that Linc was an old friend of a boxer named "Candy" Joe Collins (played by real-life boxer "Sugar" Ray Robinson) who is trying to mount a comeback to win back his son's respect. (Unbeknownst to him, the boy's troubles actually have to do with gamblers he owes money to.)
  • Monk: "Mr. Monk Takes a Punch" is about Monk investigating an attempt on a professional boxer's life.
  • A Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch has British and Empire heavyweight champion Jack Bodell in a match against Sir Kenneth Clark. Guess who won.
  • Part of the Moonlighting episode "Symphony In Knocked Flat", in which they attempt to knock out a punch drunk fighter in his locker room. After they hit him on the head with a weight, he suddenly becomes (temporarily) lucid, saying things like, "I intend to aggressively attack my opponent at the outset to achieve a sudden victory." Then they hit him again.
  • Motive: In "Brute Force", Angie and Oscar investigate the murder of boxer Mark "The Machine" Mason, who is found stabbed to death on the floor of his gym. Oscar is shown to be a boxing fan (or, at least, a fan of Mason's).
  • The Murder, She Wrote episode "Death Takes a Dive," in which Jessica's old friend Harry McGraw is implicated in the death of a boxing manager, and talks Jessica into taking over the role while she investigates.
  • NCIS, episode 6x18, "Knockout." Director Vance uses the NCIS team to investigate the death of a boxer who is an old friend of the director's. We find out that, in his youth, Vance himself was a boxer, and his wife first met him at one of his matches.
  • NCIS: Los Angeles, episode 1x19, "Hand-To-Hand." Sam Hanna goes undercover at an MMA gym, and ends up fighting one of the guys there who is actually an undercover LAPD detective: future main character Marty Deeks.
  • New Tricks: In "Gloves Off", the gun used to murder a talented young boxer 11 years prior surfaces in an armed robbery and UCOS is drawn into the darker side of professional boxing. Jack, Gerry and (perhaps most surprisingly) Strickland are all revealed to be boxing fans, with Gerry and Strickland having boxed in their younger days.
  • NUMB3RS, episode 3x16, "Contenders." One of David's old friends is involved in the death of an MMA fighter (the boxing of the present).
  • NYPD Blue a couple of times: Martinez decides to enter the Smoker and gets trained by Lieutenant Fancy (who beats him up pretty good during a friendly sparring match); several seasons later Detective Clark enters it too.
  • Oz: Several episodes in season 3 centre around a boxing tournament organised between the various gangs in Oz. Ryan tries to fix the fights so his brother Cyril wins.
  • The Pinkertons episode "The Sweet Science" is centered on "pugilism", as it was called in 1865, complete with the male protagonist getting in the ring for the climactic fight.
  • The Police Squad! episode "Ring of Fear (A Dangerous Assignment)" parodies this. When a boxer is killed for refusing to throw a fight, Police Squad is sent to investigate. Detective Drebin goes undercover as a manager to root out the mobsters who are fixing the matches, and along the way he mentors a washed-up nobody of a boxer and makes him a genuine champ. Every step along the way is Played for Laughs.
  • Porridge episode "The Harder They Fall" has Godber join the prison boxing team. It ends with a fixed fight and a Double Knockout.
  • The Power Rangers Zeo episode "Challenges", in which Tommy has to out-box Prince Sprocket's monster Punchabunch at both normal and giant size to free Adam. Tommy had already been established to have boxing skills in the previous seasons, and his special Zord this season is the Red Battlezord, which has boxing-glove fists (and Gatling laser cannons for cuffs, but those aren't used in the boxing match).
  • An episode of Punky Brewster has boxing champion Marvin Hagler showing Punky how to defend herself after a bully at school beats her up.
  • Quantum Leap, "The Right Hand of God": Sam leaps into a boxer "owned" by a sisterhood of nuns. The episode reveals Al as something of a boxing aficionado, but it doesn't do Sam much good since holograms make poor boxing trainers.
  • Racket Squad: in 'The Knock-Out' a con game group stages boxing fights that are said to be rigged. During the fight the victim attends, one of the fighters fakes his death in the ring. Then the victim is convinced that going to the police or Boxing Commission will result in everybody being indicted for manslaughter.
  • In a Remington Steele episode, a baby is found in a boxer's locker and he asks the Steele agency for help. Hijinx ensue as the boxer readies for a match and Remington is revealed to be a very competent boxer.
  • The Rockford Files has an episode where Jim and Rocky invest in a boxer, and there is a fair amount of corruption surrounding his manager.
  • Rookie Blue had two: "Fite Nite" and "Different, Not Better", which feature officers of the 15th division competing with other divisions in an annual charity boxing match.
  • Skippy the Bush Kangaroo has an episode where boxers set up a training area in the park. It ends up in showing Skippy wear boxing gloves though she never actually boxes.
  • Starsky & Hutch has "The Heavyweight," in which a boxer is ordered to throw a match but wins anyway because he can't bear to let his son down, getting himself in trouble with criminals.
  • Star Trek: Voyager:
    • A late-season episode, "The Fight", centers around Chakotay's recreational boxing, which apparently was causing brain damage—but actually something else is going on that explains his weird visions and blackouts. Even the writer has no bloody clue what this plot was supposed to be about.
    • In another episode, "Tsunkatse", Seven and Tuvok are kidnapped to become gladiators.
    Doc Oho: This would have only been an even more ridiculous sermon on boxing had they shoved Seven of Nine into a leotard and had her take on The Rock but not even Voyager would go that far into the realms of madness."
  • Suits. After yet another clash with his Evil Counterpart Travis Tanner, Harvey tracks him down at his gym and engages in a match with him, likely to find a way to punch him out without being arrested for assault.
  • Taxi: Tony is a semi-pro boxer who trains kids at a youth center, so boxing comes up a few times as a main plot.
  • A couple of The Three Stooges shorts. One early example is "Punch Drunks", when Curly becomes a boxer because of his Unstoppable Rage when he hears the tune "Pop Goes the Weasel".
  • Time Trax featured a temporal fugitive from two centuries in the future who uses his superior physical development to win bouts.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959):
    • In "The Big Tall Wish", the washed up boxer Bolie Jackson has a comeback fight against Joey Consiglio. After Bolie is knocked down, his young friend Henry Temple makes a big tall wish for the two boxers to switch places. The wish is granted and Bolie ends up winning the fight. However, Bolie does not believe that a wish could have allowed him to win and its effects are undone.
    • In "Steel", the boxing promoter Steel Kelly, disguised as his malfunctioning B2 robot Battling Maxo, fights a B7 robot in Maynard, Kansas on August 2, 1974.
  • The earlier installments of the Ultra Series occasionally have these.
    • Return of Ultraman episode 27 has Hideki Goh befriending a boxer training for a championship match, before getting interrupted by the Monster of the Week, Gronken. The ending of the episode has Ultraman Jack fighting Gronken and the boxer fighting in the championship, rapidly inter-cut with each other simultaneously.
    • In Ultraman Taro, the main character, Kohtaro Higashi, being a professional boxer himself, is often featured in this trope. One episode has him boxing on stage mid-episode, then transforming into Ultraman Taro to fight a kaiju a few minutes later after the match.
  • Voyagers!: "All Fall Down" concerns the 1938 rematch between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling.
  • The Wayans Bros..: Marlon is taunted by Hector Macho Camacho who challenges him to a boxing match.
  • White Collar: In "Gloves Off," Peter and Neal go after a Wall Street stock trading operation. They learn that insider information is traded to the winners of boxing matches set up by the leader, so they finagle things so both of them fight each other in the ring, to make sure at least one of them is told the insider information. Even so, the plan is for Peter to win to make the case stick better. But just before the match begins, Neal learns about a screw-up of Peter's that sends him into a rage, and he ignores the choreography and tries to beat the snot out of Peter.
  • Wings: "Raging Bull%$%#". Joe signs up for an amateur boxing tournament, expecting to get some revenge on a childhood bully, while Brian signs up as an alternate in case Joe backs out. However, when the other fighter backs out instead, the brothers find themselves pitted against one another.
  • The Without a Trace episode "No Mas", in which the Victim of the Week is a boxer who disappeared before a fight. He's found alive, but the agents must then arrest him for murdering an associate.
  • Yancy Derringer: In "The Wayward Warrior", pirate queen Coco LaSalle convinces Yancy to back her fighter against the mighty heavyweight called the Tennessee Slasher. Derringer organizes the illegal fight away from the city administrator's prying eyes.

    Professional Wrestling 


    Video Games 
  • Fallout 2 allows you to become a prize fighter in the town of New Reno. Becoming the champion raises your fame in the town, as well as giving you a slight bonus to damage resistance and unarmed fighting.
  • Cyberpunk 2077 has the "Beat on the Brat" questline in which the Player Character V can rise through the ranks and become the city's boxing champion.
  • "The Set Up", a Vice case in L.A. Noire revolves around an over-the-hill boxer refusing to drop a fight. Cole and Earle then have to hunt him down.
  • The King of the Ring submod for The Someguy Series consists in using the Fallout: New Vegas unarmed fighting gameplay to simulate boxing matches of increasing difficulty.
  • A common practice in Team Fortress 2 trade servers is for two Heavies to challenge each other to a melee weapon-only 'boxing match', seeing as how all of the Heavy's melee weapons are variations on his fists.
  • One of the jobs The Three Stooges can take in the PC/console game is boxing, which functions like the "Punch Drunks" example from above: Larry has to get a radio playing the "Pop Goes the Weasel" tune before the fight ends.
  • Bully has a boss fight that starts in the boxing ring. Outside the storyline, it's still fun, earns cash, and unlocks a Save Point.

    Western Animation 
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: "The Cage" has Gumball and Darwin training wimpy geography teacher Mr. Corneille to be a cage fighter, to raise money for the school at an MMA-style challenger fight. While he earns the adoration of the school nurse, he is also brutally squashed at the final fight.
  • There have been a few Classic Disney Shorts about boxing:
  • The Goofy cartoon The Art of Self Defense (1941) has Goofy giving a Faux-To Guide on learning to box.
  • The Donald Duck cartoon Canvas Back Duck (1953) sees Donald getting baited into going three rounds with Peewee Pete at a carnival.
  • A Wing Dings blackout on Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines featured Klunk as a boxing champ with Zilly a reporter interviewing him. When Zilly asks what Klunk's record is, he replies "Brahms' Lullaby," plants a record over Zilly's head through the center hole, spins it and plays it with his "left hook."
  • In Family Guy episode "Baby, You Knock Me Out", Lois becomes a boxer.
  • FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman: In "It's Ruff in the Ring", Ruff wants to celebrate the Canadian holiday Boxing Day, but Chet signs him up for a boxing match, as he thinks it's about the sport Boxing. Unfortunately, his opponent is the big and burly Whipped Cream Mcgee, and it's clear Ruff has no chance against him, he's forced to send the Fetchers to learn how to box and to build a helmet for Ruff so he can protect himself. When he gets back from the match, it's revealed Whipped Cream Mcgee lost because he laughed hysterically over Ruff's gear, leaving Ruff to win by default. But Mcgee comes to Ruff's doghouse, demanding a rematch, so Ruff uses a boxing dummy that looks like him to let Mcgee beat it up while he hides in the Fetch 3000.
  • A Justice League Unlimited episode sees Wildcat - a former pro boxer who had turned his skills to crimefighting - get involved in an underground fighting circuit out of a need to indulge Blood Knight tendencies, and because he was feeling his age, while Black Canary and Green Arrow try to convince him to get out before he seriously hurts someone or vice-versa.
  • On King of the Hill, Luanne takes up boxing to prove to men that she's not a sex object. Unfortunately, the boxing she takes up is foxy boxing, and one of George Foreman's daughters challenges her to a real match to prove that she's untalented at the sport. She isn't, but the sheer determination she shows during the match is enough to get the men who were previously harassing her to start cheering her.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • "Rabbit Punch": Bugs Bunny has to take on the heavyweight champ after heckling him.
    • "Bunny Hugged": A second Bugs vs. Crusher cartoon.
    • "Count Me Out": Egghead takes up boxing against the world champion.
    • "To Duck or Not to Duck": Daffy Duck challenges duck hunter Elmer Fudd to a boxing match.
  • Paramount's Modern Madcap: Stars Jeepers and Creepers have a cartoon called "Busy Buddies" in which Creepers has to make some money to pay an outstanding IRS debt. He unwillingly becomes a boxer in a match offering a $1000 cash prize. Thanks to Jeepers, he wins and pays off his immediate debt (but now he owes for the money he just won).
  • In an episode of The Oblongs, Pickles quits smoking and become an adrenaline junkie. She tries boxing but is so vicious and dangerous she keeps moving to deeper and deeper sub-basements pummeling more and more people - including (by mistake) the "simple kid who fills the soda machines".
  • Parodied in an early episode of Phineas and Ferb, where Phineas agrees to fight Buford, pre-Character Development when he's a genuine bully the other kids fear. Former professional boxer Evander Holyfield has a guest role and leads Phineas' Training Montage, but when the time comes for the fight, it turns out it's just a thumb war.
  • The Simpsons season eight episode "The Homer They Fall", in which Moe coaches Homer into becoming a boxer after Homer is found to have an anomaly that allows him to take multiple hits without falling.
  • The Street Sharks episode Shark Fight opens with Big Slammu getting punched out in a fight with Killamari; Slammu subsequently gets boxing training from Jab, and ultimately the whale shark challenges Killamari to a rematch during a boxing-themed stage show organised by Rox. The fight concludes with Slammu punching the mutant squid clean out of the ring.
  • Yogi Bear becomes the sparring partner of a champion boxer visiting Jellystone Park. During the session, the champ tries to get Yogi to bring in his fist to deflect a punch and winds up knocking the champ out cold.

    Real Life 
  • This is one way Canadian politicians settle their differences between elections.
  • As seen in a few above examples, many police departments (at least in North America) include boxing as part of rookie training. The ostensible point of which is to get the recruits used to taking a punch. Rare is the officer on regular patrol who doesn't get swung on, eventually.
  • The military service academies in the United States require boxing as part of their curriculum, and most of them conduct intra- and inter-school boxing competitions.

Alternative Title(s): Boxing Episode