Bika Wins Contender Crown
7.11.07 - Matthew Hurley: Sakio Bika, 25-3-2 with 15 KOs knocked out Jaidon Codrington, 18-2 with 14 KOs at 2:18 of the eighth round last night at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston in front of nearly 6,000 people. The victory brought “The Scorpion” upwards of $800,000 in what turned out to be an exciting finale to the third season of ESPN’s The Contender reality boxing series.
Article posted on 07.11.2007
Bika, who acquitted himself well in a 2006 decision loss to current unified super middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe, got off to a quick start against Codrington. He knocked him down with less than a minute gone in the first round but then Codrington came back and put Bika down. The round continued at a frenetic pace and will easily be a candidate for “round of the year."
“When I got him down,” Bika said immediately after the fight before being taken to the hospital, “he got up and knocked me down too. That first round was really hard.”
The fight continued to be a brutal exciting affair leading show host Sugar Ray Leonard to comment, “I can’t articulate how I feel. This is the kind of boxing that will take it back to where it was in my day. There was so much heart, so much determination. They were real fighters, real contenders.”
Codrington came into the bout as the sentimental favorite after having to deal with the death of his father. James Sr. committed suicide during the taping of the show.
It’s unclear how far either fighter can go in terms of becoming a serious contender for a legitimate crowd but being fan friendly fighters will certainly pay dividends. And according to Bika’s agent Angelo Hyder, quoted in The Daily Telegraph, “Sakio proved his talent against Joe Calzaghe last year, giving Joe one of the hardest fights of his career and he won the fans over with his courageous performance in beating Codrington today in Boston. He will now be promoted by The Contender group on the world stage.
Sam Soliman, 35-10 with 13 KOs scored a unanimous decision victory over Wayne Johnson, 17-3 with 9 KOs in the third place bout.
David Banks, 15-3-1 with 2 KOs won a majority decision against Donny McCrary, 23-7-2 with 13 KOs.
Brian Vera, 15-1 with 9 KOs won a unanimous decision victory over Max Alexander, 14-2-1 with 2 KOs.
Asanbek Kodzoev, who did not participate in The Contender series out pointed Miguel Hernandez, 20-7 with 10 KOs.
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