Matter Of Perspective: Fight Night Champion

A well placed punch can be painful but that pain is only temporary, a flash of extreme agony followed by an ache. At that moment it feels like the worst thing in the world, but subsides and heals within a small time frame. There are much more long lasting pains in life like damaged pride, being betrayed and watching family become hurt.

Fight Night Champion’s Andre Bishop is the central character who experiences all of the pains above, as well as others. Andre had a simple dream of wanting to be like his father, training hard and becoming the World Heavyweight Champion. It’s a dream that becomes a nightmare, corrupted by the shady dealings of a ruthless boxing promoter who does not take kindly to people saying no to him.

[drop]Andre begins his career as a promising fighter who has the boxing world at his feet. Under the guidance of Gus, his coach, Andre becomes a formidable amateur boxer by winning fights over and over. His success catches the eye of D.L. McQueen, a famous promoter who wishes to sign Andre and expose him to the limelight of professional boxing.

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However, Andre’s loyalty to Gus wins out here and he refuses to jojn McQueen promotions. Andre’s loyalty wasn’t just his notion that leads to a downfall, but also a battleground for McQueen and Gus. Both those characters had always been enemies, and Andre’s loyalty was just one of many things they fought over. When Andre cements his allegiance to Gus McQueen sees a lost battle and a wound to his ego.

This, in McQueen’s mind, cannot go unpunished so he sets up Andre on false criminal charges which leads to his imprisonment. However, even with this act, McQueen continues to vie for any victory he can over Gus and Andre, which brings in Raymond Bishop.

Raymond is Andre’s younger and jealous brother. McQueen knows this so while Andre is incarcerated he plays on this jealousy, crafting Raymond into a contender for the Heavy Weight championship. However this is a long ploy by McQueen to truly hurt Andre, by breaking someone who is close to him. By this point McQueen has lost the love of his daughter, Megan, so he knows the pain of losing family.

It’s this pain that McQueen wants to inflict on Andre when he sets up the bout between Raymond and the champion, Isaac Frost. Frost is a pure force of destruction who can cause serious damage to anyone who steps into the ring with him. McQueen knows this and so sets up a bout first between the Bishop brothers to determine the number one contender.

McQueen plays on the emotions of both brothers, which leads Andre to throwing the fight so Raymond becomes the contender. Raymond steps into the ring with Isaac Frost and leaves on a stretcher. This manipulation of the situation by McQueen ensures that Andre feels both guilt for allowing his brother to face such a danger, and  anger at himself as well as McQueen. You’d think McQueen wouldn’t want Andre to work out what game he had played, but McQueen needs his ‘genius’  to be recognized by someone.

This anger and guilt makes Andre challenge Isaac Frost for the title, and this is something McQueen would like. In his mind he sees Frost as an undefeated, knock-out monster, while Andre is a has been who lost everything. If Isaac pummels Andre then McQueen’s vendetta against Gus and Andre is complete. He doesn’t count on the sheer determination the young boxer has, and the motivation Gus and Megan give him. Raymond’s injuries are also add fuel to Andre’s fire.

[drop2] McQueen’s ego and confidence in Frost has become so big that he forgets one core lesson that any sport teaches; never underestimate your opponent’s abilities. This is something McQueen should really have paid attention to because for all his planning he didn’t take precautions against Andre and his support to protect himself.

Andre and Isaac have their bout, and it is one in which punches are traded continuously. McQueen knows something isn’t right as soon as Frost fails to knock Andre out in the first round. As Frost takes a beating the net around McQueen begins to get smaller, every punch bringing the downfall closer. When Andre wins he doesn’t just break out of the nightmare and achieve his dream, he also wins the war against McQueen.

McQueen’s power base unravels soon after Frost is knocked out, with the truth of his involvement in Andre’s conviction. This leads to McQueen going to jail, losing his boxing empire in the process. It’s a suitable end for a man with a huge ego who believed himself to be untouchable.

Fight Night Champion is about more than the boxing. It’s a tale of power and the rise and fall of a modern day kingdom. It’s a tale of interpersonal rivalry, emotional turmoil and control. It’s a tale of determination and revenge. Fight Night Champion also teaches a lesson that even the biggest pains can be overcome.

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5 Comments

  1. The best thing about this game that it no longer became a sequel, but a story based game it became, in my eyes, a whole new boxing franchise. I hope that it makes some kind of return for the next generation!

  2. Quite interested to play this now after reading. Good post and not one I saw coming :0)

  3. I really enjoyed this game, thought the story mode was well done and good fun to play.

    Nice write up.

  4. I honestly had no idea this had a story mode!

    I just assumed it was like all the others with just a career mode, like FIFA etc. More inclined to play it now.

  5. story mode was a weak addition in my opinion..
    the last fights in story mode were nigh on impossible.
    go seven rounds with a broken arm..ridiculous
    good old fashion career mode that’s where it at.
    the best fight night was round 3

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