Former champ Patrick "Lights" Leary is five years on from his last fight. The events of that night still haunt him and he now faces financial trouble after bad investments and the economic downturn. Both his old (brother and father) and new (wife and daughters) family rely on him and he faces difficult choices about keeping his lifestyle afloat. The only serious money he is offered is as a kind of debt collector and then his last opponent Richard Reynolds challenges him to a rematch.
The police and press get wind of what Lights did to the dentist and come calling. Lights wants his money from Hal Brennan. Hal comes to see him and suggests that if he deliver a bribe for him, the whole thing will disappear. Meanwhile Daniella discovers that Lights may have pugilistic dementia and worries about him.
Lights helps train the Leary gym's best prospect Omar for his first title shot. Johnny has to chase down Barry Word to secure the fight. Lights stays at home with his family for his birthday while the fight takes place.
Theresa realizes the extent of Lights' financial woes when her credit card gets confiscated while shopping. She has also pledged a large donation to a church charity and suddenly has to deal with her reduced resources. Johnny has to go argue with Word about Omar's cut of the fight while Omar pulls a gun out in the gym demanding his money. Johnny also lost money gambling on Omar's fight and now the men he bet with want to kill him. Lights talks to Brennan about settling his debts and manages to find an unusual solution.
Lights asks his whole family to let him fight again and he begins to train with his Dad. He wants an easy pay day against an old friend but soon learns that Johnny sold the rights to his next three fights to Barry Word.
Lights gets a thumb to the eye in training and it leaves him with blurry vision. On a night out with Johnny he ends up crashing his car and having to cover the incident up. His relationship with Theresa is strained and his father continues to push him hard. He is also being badgered by Mike the reporter who is desperate for a story.
Lights seeks out Ed Romeo, the man who trained Deathrow Reynolds to be his trainer. Romeo begins to change the way Lights trains and moves into the Leary house. Reynolds warns Lights that Romeo is not the most stable guy. Ava prepares for prom and Theresa worries that she is setting her sights too low.
Lights begins night training with Ed and Johnny is upset that he can no longer see him. Theresa misses him too but she and the girls love Ed. Lights becomes uncomfortable with Ed's attitude to his family and agrees to do promos with Johnny in secret. Ed is furious when he finds out and devastated when Lights fires him.
Theresa is about to graduate but talks to her professor about swapping her residency for a job in the private sector. Barry Word tells Lights that he will find a replacement if he can not fight Reynolds. Reynolds is persuaded by his wife to make this his last fight. Lights is upset that Hal Brennan is dating his sister.
Lights comes across Jerry "The Rainmaker" Rains at a market and takes pity on him. The former champ has trouble remembering things and soon makes himself unwelcome at the gym after flipping out. Meanwhile Councilman Hess is arrested and tells the FBI that Lights delivered a bribe to him. Brennan tells Lights both to keep his mouth shut and to shut Hess'. The FBI arrest Lights when he won't cooperate and he has to tell Theresa about breaking the dentist's arm.
Lights' mother Mae reappers just before the big fight raising everyone's suspicions. Margaret won't speak to her and Johnny is very suspicious. Lights welcomes her into his home but Theresa is wary. Meanwhile the odds on Lights winning are dropping and Barry suspects he may be asked to throw the fight. Brennan reveals he is trying to replace Barry after a drive-by shooting nearly kills him and Margaret.
Lights goes to confession to get all his sins off his chest. He makes his final preparations for his fight with Death Row as things get heated between the two of them. Hal Brenna reveals his own union of boxers, keen to get out from under Barry Word's thumb. Barry comes to Lights and tells him that the Morales fight was fixed.