Sylvester Stallone had a little extra help in picking the contestants for his new boxing reality show THE CONTENDER - his brother FRANK.

The singer, ex-fighter and world-renowned boxing historian and collector, jumped at the chance to help his movie star sibling but had no idea so many wannabe boxers would be interested in a chance to become TV stars.

Frank says, "It was like a rock tour - 13 cities and eight weeks on the road.

"We auditioned close to 2,000 fighters, with weights ranging from 105 pounds to close to 500 pounds. We saw ex-convicts, former world champions, ballet dancers, and even angry women who thought we were sexist for not letting women try out.

"We had one guy in New York who wore all pink from head to toe. He ran around the ring jumping in the air and didn't throw one punch."

14/03/2005 21:18