Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Thanks to Walter Wright’s victory over Andre Eason, The Gold Team receives leather jackets and sunglasses, courtesy of Shane Mosley. The boxers get the opportunity to spar with Mosley and Alfonso Gomez, as well as having to run behind a pickup truck. Wright and Corneilus Bundrage get into a heated exchange, causing Wright to select Bundrage as his next opponent in the semi-finals.
Vinroy Barrett then calls out Grady Brewer and the two are set to fight the very next night. Brewer wins the first two rounds pretty easily, being able to keep Barrett against the ropes and unable to stop Brewer’s flurries. The third rounds goes to Barrett who uses his jab to create distance and surprise Brewer by setting up good, crisp counter shots.
During the third round, Barrett accidentally headbutts Brewer, opening a gash above his right eye. The fight is stopped and a doctor is brought over to check Grady’s cut. Brewer is deemed fine to continue and two finish out the round. Brewer has a little bit of a defensive side to his strategy during the fourth round - quickly coming in and landing a couple of punches only to quickly scurrying out of the way instead of waiting in the pocket for more openings.
Barrett is unable to capitalize on Brewer’s lack of aggression, still attempting to establish his jab even though it is so late in the fight. At the end of the round, both fighters look very fatigued. Barrett has a welt on the left side of the head, the result of a strong Brewer overhand right. The fifth round contains both fighters leaving everything they have in the ring and going toe-to-toe with no concern in protecting themselves. Towards the end of the exchange, Brewer lands a crushing left hook directly on Barrett’s jaw and traps him in the corner, unloading on him to win the final round.
They go to the judges’ scorecards and they all agree on the winner by unanimous decision, Grady Brewer.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Chuck Wepner has ended his quest to receive compensation from Sylvester Stallone for using him as the idea for the Rocky series of movies. Reports have said that the two have settled the issue outside of court under undisclosed terms.
Wepner claimed Stallone improperly used his name to promote the Rocky films, while Stallone countered that Wepner had already made money in the form of public appearances as the real-life form of the fictional character.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Well our original plan was to do weekly episode recaps of the second season of The Contender, but things were delayed a little bit. We will be doing that from this point forward, but first let’s get caught up on what has happened so far.
Remember when reading that the two-hour long season premiere was comprised of two episodes. (I’ve seen other sites blogging about The Contender refer to the premiere as one whole episode, just don’t want to confuse anyone)
The boxers were introduced and they immediately started training. Cornelius “K-9” Bundrage began sparring, only to receive constant criticism from Michael Clark about his lack of head movement. After Bundrage left the ring, ending his workout, Clark continued to trash-talk him.
Sugar Ray Leonard called all the fighters outside for the team selection. Michael Clark and Nick Acevedo step forward and become the captains for the gold and blue teams respectively. They then choose one-by-one the rest of their teams. Here were the results:
Blue Team -
Gold Team -
The two teams were then sent away to select who would fight the follow night. Who were the nominees? Michael Clark would be going up against Cornelius Bundrage in a fight that would settle the feud that the two had since the opening training session.
Even though many of Bundrage’s own teammates thought that his awkward style didn’t match up well against Clark, he proved them wrong. Bundrage took the first two rounds of the fight easily, leaving Clark and his team stunned. Clark mounted a comeback, taking Rounds 3 and 4 and turning the momentum to his favor.
During the final round, Clark dances around the ring, taunting Bundrage as if he had the fight in the bag. Bundrage responds with a monster right cross that sends Clark to his knees. Clark gets back up to his feet but spends the rest of the round trying to dodge flurries from Bundrage, who is obviously trying to finish the fight before the final bell. The judges go to the scorecards and Bundrage is declared the winner by unanimous decision.
After the fight, Clark announces his retirement from boxing.
Because of K-9’s victory over Michael Clark, the Blue Team is awarded with dinner with Alfonso Gomez and the ability to select who will fight in the next bout. Leonard shows the fighters the bracket wall, which gives the winning boxers the choice of when and who they will take on in the second round.
The next day, Aaron Torres does not train, instead watching and helping his other teammates, as if to make the Gold Team think that he is who they are selecting from their team to fight. Instead they choose Norberto Bravo to fight Rudy Cisneros. The Blue Team targeted Cisneros because he had a problem controlling his weight, betting on the chance that Rudy might not be able to make the weight and would have to forfeit. Both fighters end up making weight.
The next night they step into the ring, touch gloves, and get things started. Bravo gains an early advantage, out pointing Cisneros by picking his shots and quickly getting out of the way of Cisnero’s flurries. In the second round, Bravo started throwing a right uppercut that seemed to be Cisneros achilles heel for the rest of the fight as he was caught by the same exact punch a countless number of times. Cisneros continued to battle his way through the power shots, scoring some points of his own during the later rounds.
After the fight, the judges convene for a longer than usual period of time and declare Bravo the winner by split decision. Both fighters give their thoughts on the experience and Cisnero hangs up his gloves next to Clark’s and leaves the show.
The Blue Team was still in control of making the fights - however things came to a head when it came time to select who would be fighting next. Each one claimed that the other was scared to fight and that many wanted to fight early on to get their fights out of the way.
Bravo chose the last fight in the second round, claiming that he would have a signifcantly larger amount of time to recover from the fight against Cisneros. His teammates pointed out however that Bravo would have very little time to prepare for the next round.
The Blue Team selected Aaron Torres to take on Gary Balleto in the next fight. Both fighters seemed very confident that they would be able to defeat the other in pre-fight talks.
The fight was close all the way through - each fighter landed their fair share of shots. Torres opened Balleto up and continued to take the center of the ring, forcing Balleto to back up into the ropes on more than one occasion. Tommy Gallagher told Torres to focus more on the fight and not his girlfriend who was sitting in the front row in between rounds. Balleto took control in the fifth and final round landing multiple combinations and sending Torres reeling. Balleto was declared the winner by split decision and Torres was eliminated from the competiton.
The Gold Team has gained control of the matchmaking thanks to Balleto’s win over Torres last week. Because of the victory, each member of the Gold Team receives digital cameras. Balletto then chooses to fight Noberto Bravo in the second round, stating that he will open up Bravo’s cut again if it isn’t healed in time. The two teams then throw tires into pickup trucks for a workout.
The Gold Team then announces that Walter Wright will take on Andre Eason. Both fighters successfully make weight. The fight begins and Wright quickly establishes his jab. Wright lands a crisp left to the body followed by a left cross that sends Eason to the mat. Eason gets up after an eight count and continues on.
Eason fends off some heavy punches from Wright and starts to close the distance but is unable to land anything of note - his punches seem to have no effect on Wright at all. The final three rounds consists of Wright throwing a constant jab and picking his power shots while Eason tries desperately to land the one big punch, throwing wide, awkward shots. Wright obviously wins by unanimous decision, sending Eason packing.
The Contender comes on every Tuesday night on ESPN, so expect recaps to be up Tuesday night/Wednesday morning/afternoon…
Members of the Philadelphia Art Commission have not approved the planned placing of the famed Rocky Balboa statue at the bottom of the Art Museum steps. However just like Rocky, the statue is going to give it yet another shot.
Stephanie Naidoff, city commerce director, said she believed the full commission would eventually approve the site - if not by early September, then in the fall. “We believe it’s the right site,” Naidoff said. “A couple members [of the commission] who support it were not able to be there… . We think the full commission will approve it.”
Stallone will be in Philadelphia a few times in the fall, she said, so a dedication could be coordinated with his trips to town. The Art Commission, she said, “needs the time to consider it properly, and we respect that.”
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Here is the official trailer that was released in theatres on June 7th…