The Contender Season 2 - And Then There Were Eight..
28.08.06 - By Alden "The Kid" Chodash: Riding on the fact that 'The Contender' season one unexpectedly boosted the opinion of boxing to many non-boxing fans (winning a 2005 Ring Magazine event of the year award in the progress), it was seemingly impossible for the sequel to reach the standards season one set let alone emulate them.. The cast (for season two) consisted of former lightweight contender Michael Clark, Grady Brewer, Cornelius Bundrage, Walter Wright, Freddy Curiel, Andre Eason, Nick Acevedo, former IBF Super Featherweight belt-holder Steve Forbes, Jeff Fraza, current lightweight contender Ebo Elder, Michael Stewart, Gary Balletto, Aaron Torres, Vinroy Barrett, Norberto Bravo, and Rudy Cisneros.
Article posted on 29.08.2006
Preliminary Results: Cornelius Bundrage Wins Majority Decision over Michael Clark, Norberto Bravo Wins Split Decision over Rudy Cisneros, Gary Balletto Wins Split decision over Aaron Torres, Walter Wright Wins unanimous decision over Andre Eason, Grady Brewer wins unanimous decision over Vinroy Barrett, Michael Stewart wins TKO 4 over Ebo Elder, Nick Acevedo wins split decision over Jeff Fraza, Steve Forbes wins unanimous decision over Freddy Curiel.
Cornelious Bundrage: Bundrage's upset victory over season two favorite Michael Clark immediately established him as a major player in the tournament for supremacy but on paper the victory wasn't all that impressive. Clark's best days were behind him and in fact his best days were at lightweight. Bundrage is a natural junior middleweight who has also battled in the 160 pound division (middleweight). Also, Clark did win rounds and going into the final frame the bout was tied up, two rounds a piece. Bundrage did show his power in the fifth by putting down Clark with a right hand early in the round but the fact that Clark survived the rest of the round doesn't say a lot about Bundrage's finishing powers. Bundrage shouldn't be victorious over Walter Wright.
Walter Wright: Wright's victory over Eason was by far the most decisive victory on The Contender Season 2. Wright showcased his power in the opening stanza versus Eason when he dropped the Brooklynite with a perfect left hook and showcased excellent ring generalship, controlling the action with his left jab and disabling Eason's limited offense. The only flaw to the near perfect performance was Wright's cockiness, though he probably would limit the taunting if he was faced with an opponent who matches him skill-wise. Wright has a big chance of not only defeating Bundrage but winning the tournament.
Norberto Bravo: Bravo is just an exciting, durable slugger. Bravo wasn't impressive in his heart pounding victory over Rudy Cisneros but he made an early fan base on the show. Bravo's record suggests he is beatable but his victory over Cisneros suggests he'll be crowd pleasing, victorious or not. I see him winning versus Balletto but I don't think he'll go any further.
Gary Balletto: Lets face it, Balletto is the weakest link on the show. His desperate struggle with waste-of-talent Aaron Torres suggested immediately that he had recorded his last victory on the show. He's a hard working man and he's entertaining but he just lacks the talent to compete with the elite talent on the show. Balletto won't get by Bravo.
Grady Brewer: Though Brewer looked sloppy in defeating Vinroy Barrett he is not the weakest link. Brewer brings experience to the table and ring savvy. Also Brewer nearly recorded the first loss on Sechew Powell's record when he nearly finished Powell in the second round en route to a split decision defeat (for Brewer). I don't think Brewer can defeat Forbes, Acevedo, or Michael Stewart.
Michael Stewart: Though Stewart scored the only knockout on The Contender Season Two, he was not regarded as a puncher before getting the spot on the show. He has been in with top opposition such as a younger Sharmba Mitchell, and Ricky Hatton, though he has only beaten one big name in his career, Ebo Elder. While losing the first three rounds, Stewart was wearing Elder down with body punches setting Elder up for the perfect left hook that finished him in the fourth. Stewart can defeat Brewer and Acevedo but not Forbes.
Nick Acevedo: Though Acevedo displayed his talent in his recent win over Jeff Fraza he did show a major vulnerability, his stamina. He wore down in the third and fourth round heavily and there was also a point in the fight that it didn't look like Acevedo was going to answer the bell, though Acevedo rallied big in the fifth and took the fight. Acevedo could beat Brewer, but would come up short against Stewart and Forbes.
Steve Forbes: The only former world titlist on the show may be the best the show has. He showcased great talent against Curiel and confidence. He is also one of the, if not the smartest fighters on the show. Forbes should defeat Stewart, Acevedo, and Brewer. The only fighter that has a serious chance of defeating him is Walter Wright. But I say Forbes wins it all.
Alden "The Kid" Chodash, is the newest and youngest member of the Boxing Writers Association Of America as well as webmaster of AldenBoxing.com
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