September 9, 2004 -- THE battling boxing real ity shows, Fox's "The Next Great Champ" and NBC's "The Contender," might both be ruined because of a public records request to disclose the winners before the bouts are televised.
Oscar De La Hoya's "Champ" and Sylvester Stallone's "Contender" have received waivers allowing them to withhold the fight results, which otherwise would have to be disclosed immediately under California law along with such facts as the contestants, attendance, location and purse size.

But when the California State Athletic Commission refused to disclose this information to the Los Angeles Times, the newspaper filed a petition under the California Public Records Act. A hearing is set for Sept. 27.

"This petition should be granted so that the public can see whether the State Athletic Commission put the interests of boxing promoters and reality TV shows over the interests of the public," according to the filing.

Tuesday's ratings for Tuesday's debut of "Champ" were less than stellar. Early results suggest that it was seen by about 5 million viewers. Post TV Staff