Things are not going well for Erik Kernan (Josh Hartnett). Erik, a sports reporter, is stuck covering the bush leagues because his editor (Alan Alda) thinks he cannot cut it as writer. On top of that, his marriage is disintegrating. One night, he rescues a homeless man (Samuel L. Jackson) and discovers the guy is Battling Bob Satterfield, a former boxer rumored to be dead. Erik sees a chance to give his career a much-needed boost by writing the athlete's story.