“The Contender” Recap
03.10.07 - By Neil Dennis: So far, the current season of “The Contender” has been proving to be a vast improvement over the last, in which lackluster Grady Brewer walked away with the championship. With Jaidon Codrington and Sam Soliman showing their stuff and Miguel Hernandez giving Wayne Johnsen a run for his money, the show has redeemed itself by playing up the fights and playing down the sappiness. This week was no different as they scheduled two fights.
Article posted on 04.10.2007
To look at the two cards that were made, it seemed like quite a mismatch in favor of the Blue Team. In the first fight that played out tonight, the ever-spirited Donny McCrary (23-6, 13 KOs) found himself against “The Scorpion” himself, Sakio Bika (23-3, 14 KOs). Given the fact that Bika had only been completely dominated once (coutesy of the always brutal Lucien Bute), McCrary walked into the ring with a lot less than a 50-50 shot. Still, McCrary seemed conifident, continually saying how he was willing to take on the man no one else wanted to touch.
McCrary gave a valiant effort against Bika, going toe-to-toe with the man who even gave Joe Calzaghe a hard time. In between rounds, Gold Team trainer Buddy McGirt pleaded with McCrary to double up on the jabs as Blue Team trainer “Pepe” Correa was trying to convince Bika how Donny “was a sucker for the uppercut.” Though McCrary kept alive by taking McGirt’s advice, it was Correa’s advice to Bika that won the day. A determined McCrary wobbled Bika in round four, but a cut he suffered in round three combined with an ever increasing amount of landed uppercuts took their toll. In the end, the cards went 49-46, 50-45, and 50-45 in Bika’s favor. Still, the crowd at Contender Arena could not deny McCrary’s heart as they chanted his name following the fight. McCrary repeated his insistence that he was willing to take on anyone.
“I’ll fight King Kong,” said McCrary. “Tonight, Sakio was King Kong.”
The second match-up will play itself out next week as well-conditioned light touch David Banks (14-2-1, 2 KOs) fights British power puncher Paul Smith (20-0, 12 KOs). Although this looks on paper to be another lop-sided victory for the Blue Team, that remains to be seen. Banks is as well known for ending Elvin Alaya’s undefeated streak as he is for his decision loss to Peter Manfredo. On the other hand, Paul Smith has throughly dominated everyone he’s come against, but over half of his opponents have had losing records. This fight will finish out The Contender’s first round, setting things up for the more intense semi-final fights to come.
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