*TV One’s upcoming original film “Ringside” written, directed, and produced by nationally syndicated radio host Russ Parr, whose other works include “Hear No Evil” and “35 and Ticking,” explores the lives of two boxers, Jaxon Hollie played by Tyler Lepley (“The Haves and Haves Not, Baggage Claim”) and Spencer “Timber” Collier played by Allen Maldonado (“Black-ish,” “Survivor’s Remorse”) as they labor through keeping in check their families, career, and avoiding the inevitable thirst traps.
The movie was shot in 12 days around Los Angeles and sets the stage for Allen’s portrayal of the brash Spencer Collier, the undefeated middleweight boxing champion, and Jaxon Hollie’s opponent. Allen gives an intense performance as Spencer whose desire for greatness is akin to most boxing greats.
The actor, who has trained in boxing for the last three to four years, confessed that he drew inspiration for Spencer’s braggadocio demeanor by tapping into the spirit of Muhammad Ali, Floyd Mayweather, Mike Tyson, and Conor McGregor, as well as, examined their reasons to become the captains of the sport.
“The aspect of being a champion, you have to be at the height of your confidence, meaning you believe no one can beat you. That you are the champion and that no one can touch you. Sometimes that can consume you, as you have to be in this mindset to overcome stepping into a ring with someone that is ready to take your head off. So if you have the slightest bit of insecurity, that can be your worst enemy,” explains Allen.
While it is apparent that Allen’s character Spencer Collier packs a mean punch and though he may not be the most sympathetic individual, audiences will empathize with his sheer determination to triumph over the undefeated pro boxer Jaxon Hollie, even if it leads him to make some unethical choices.
“It is an addiction to being a champion; it is an addiction to being the top dog. Losing is not [based on his] opponent, it is losing to himself, and it’s losing that mantle that he sits upon. The scariest thing for a lot of fighters is losing that glow or that aura of being a champion,” says Allen.
Spencer is young, cocky, loud, affluent, and proudly declares that he takes what he wants. His motivating factor to be in the ring is to continue to bask in the light of his glory because without being labeled as a champion, as Allen describes, Spencer might end up forfeiting his identity. Also to guarding his prized ego, Spencer also has a complex and often volatile relationship with his sister.
Like Jaxon, Spencer is committed to helping his family members, but unlike his rival, Spencer uses his good deeds as a means to exert power over his sister.
“He holds it over her head, he has helped to build her career and he feels that she is indebted to him. As the audiences will see, it comes to a head; she’s fed up with dealing with him and all his expectations of her,” Allen reveals.
Spencer is regularly fed copious amounts of adulation from the media and his fans alike, he feels entitled to the same praise from his family as well and their willingness to comply with his every wish. Unfortunately, that level of notoriety can often cloud his judgment and the film pulls the curtain away from the glitzy glam world of fame and shows the downside of celebrity. Allen remarks that he relates to Spencer because he understands the level of pressure that accompanies being a high profile personality.
“When you look in a mirror that is your worst enemy, you begin to allow status quo or keeping up with the Joneses to maintain a certain position because of how other people see you or how other people have positioned you to be. That’s tough because you begin to eat away at your morals and decision-making on what you would rather [as opposed to] what people expect you to do,” he affirms.
TV One is sure to knock out Labor Day weekend with its Sunday, Sept. 4 debut of “Ringside” 7 p.m. ET; encore 9 p.m. ET. and an additional airing on Sunday, Sept. 11 at 5 p.m. ET.
TV One viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook (@tvonetv) using the hashtags #Ringside.