The draw was footage from the tragic Mancini-Deuk-Koo Kim fight airing for the first time since the event on its 25th anniversary. But what viewers got was much more than raw film of the 1982 lightweight championship matchup that would end Kim’s life and foretell the suicide of Kim’s mother less than two weeks later. In-depth interviews with members of the Kim and Mancini families, eyewitnesses to the fight, physicians and boxing historians paint a picture that’s as complex as it is devastating about the event that changed regulation boxing matches from 15 to 12 rounds. Loftier than a sports documentary, Triumph and Tragedy succeeds in commenting on the fragile human spirit.

Fast Fact

  • Mancini was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 2005.

Honorable Mentions:
Celtics Now, Comcast SportsNet New England: Which came first? Celtics Now or the team’s resurgent 2007-2008 season? Hard to say, but great sports programming keeps its finger on the pulse of fans, and Comcast SportsNet demonstrated foresight, agility and strength in getting the show off the ground. Slam dunk.

Sport Science, Fox Sports Net: A series featuring world-class athletes and revered scientists that shed new light on some of our most hotly debated questions about sports and the athletes who play them? You bet we stood up and took notice.

Minnesota Basketball: The Journey, The Big Ten Network: Big Ten Network does a lot of talking about digging deeper into college sports than the competition. This up-close and very personal account of the Gophers’ season ably proves they walk the walk, too.

The Peglegs of Stuyvesant High, CBS College Sports Network: New York’s über-academic Stuy High wasn’t among the first schools to come to mind when we thought of a football powerhouse. But watching this documentary about the team’s remarkable 2006 season changed our perception.

Return to 2008 CableFAX Program Awards table of contents.

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