Fans of the sweet science—that’s boxing to you mere mortals—know that between 1980 and 1989, there were four fighters that ushered in a boxing renaissance that not only blessed us all with bitter rivalries, but a smorgasbord of legendary bouts.
These “Four Kings”—Roberto Durán, Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, and Sugar Ray Leonard—were kind enough to throw hands and deliver nine world championship fights between them, and now we’ll revisit their incomparable reign courtesy of Showtime Sports.
This Sunday, the four-part docuseries The Kings kicks off on Showtime and will chronicle “the four fighters’ dramatic and divergent ascents to greatness and the legendary matches they produced.” Here’s a little bit more of what’s in store this weekend, courtesy of a press release provided by Showtime:
THE KINGS spotlights boxing’s evolution from the end of Muhammad Ali’s era to the era of the Four Kings, set against the seismic political and socio-economic shifts taking place in the United States. The Four Kings rose to fame as the presidency of Jimmy Carter and economic recession gave way to the boon of 1980s capitalism and excess harnessed by the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Through in-depth interviews and archival footage, the series also examines the very personal battles that each man waged on his unique journey to the center of the sports world.
“These four men defined an era in boxing,” Stephen Espinoza, President of Showtime Sports, said in a statement provided to The Root. “Their individual stories, forever linked by the spectacular battles they waged, reflect a tumultuous period in American culture and history. The Kings takes the viewer beyond the glorious action of some of history’s most memorable prizefights to illuminate each man’s dramatic journey and the societal context that made them stars of sports and popular culture.”
If pugilism is your ministry, make sure you check out the trailer above and tune in to The Kings on Sunday, June 6 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime. And because the network is feeling especially generous, all four episodes will be available across the network’s on-demand and streaming platforms when it premieres.
You’re welcome in advance.