The Contender thread

SPOILERS WITHIN

Wow. Just... wow. The last two fights have me breathless at the moment.

Save the best for last, so first - Gomez vs. Kaddour. Ahmed was just physically imposing and in watching him move and strike before the fight I had not anticipated a tough fight.

But size and strength are nothing - all that matters is what you do in the ring. Alfonso (or Alfonzo?) went out and every shot he threw counted. While I know the show's edited for brevity, I did not see one wasted punch in that fight on Gomez's side. Kaddour was off. He did not have that drive Peter Manfredo had after his loss and subsequent return to the game.

Gomez is the real deal.

And for the best fight of all. The Latin Snake Sergio Mora vs. Ishe Smith. Ishe was considered hands down the frontrunner to win the entire competition. No one disagreed, not even Sergio.

But Mora, despite being a high school drop out, is one of the smartest people in the game. An incredibly well-read person for anyone, much less an uneducated man, he not only trained his body, but also his mind. Ishe had an ego as big as the room. He assumed Sergio would be a "good fight," but not a "tough fight." (Ishe's words.)

When they stepped into the ring, Sergio took punches that would kill most people. When he spoke of it later, you could feel the nuclear explosions of pain, but he showed absolutely nothing. Eventually he would jump into the fight, unload of Ishe, and then make Ishe miss. Frustrating him. Then on the rare occasions that Ishe landed a punch, Sergio would shrug it off, shake his head and beat his chest to let Ishe know how he felt.

The most striking thing for me is in the fourth or fifth round. Before the bell rings, Sergio is standing up, jumping up and down, while Ishe is sitting on his chair getting water and advice.

"Get up," Sergio says. "Get up."

A boxer who looks like he doesn't weigh half the weight Ishe does, calling on him to get up and fight.

Sergio ultimately finished Ishe off. Mora made one thing clear: Sergio did not beat Ishe. Ishe beat Ishe. Making him miss frustrated him to the point of losing.

And I have to say - I'd had enough of his loudmouth wife.

Yeah, I have watched this series, but have had no urge to post on it until last night''s episodes.

I actually would have ranked the fights in reverse order, with the Gomez vs. Kaddour, being the better of the two in my opinion.

Also ripped bodies vs. non-ripped is not allways a good indicator of punching power. Gomez to me seems like the heaviest hitter of the show, based on his two fights, and from his outward appeance is the least toned of the contenders. Lets not forget Big George Forman (older version) was never really in shape but still had cannons for fist.

Speaking of Ishe being the best of the contenders, my google-fu has failed me and I have been unable to find a real analysis of these fighters (most boxing news sights seem not to be free).
-It seems that the show has led us to believe that the two best fighters were Ishe and Manfredo (who I belive they have said is world ranked), but we only have the show to go on for this info.

All that being said, have really enjoyed the show. The boxing is nicely edited, my wife has been able to follow the fights, due to their veryslight slowmo effects and musical ques.

I do wish the fights were longer than 5 rounds, a 6 round fight is much tougher for a boxer than a 5. Witness Gomez punching himself out by the 4th round, and taking it and the first half of the 5th off, who knows how he would have handled a 6th.

I believe boxingrecs.com has all the records of every boxer in existence.

Manfredo I know is proven - I''ve seen him fight on TV and he''s the real deal.

"Loganrapp" wrote:
And I have to say - I''d had enough of his loudmouth wife.

I hear that. Actually, all I could really hear during that entire fight was her screaming in the background.

Good show. I agree that 5 rounds isn''t enough.

Boxrec.com ranks the fighters in the Middleweight class (unless indicated otherwise) as such:

Ishe Smith: 11
Jesse Brinkley: 19
Alfonso Gomez: 23
Peter Manfredo Jr: 37
Anthony Bonsante: 78
Ahmed ""Babyface"" Kaddour: 92
Joey Gilbert: 98
Sergio Mora: 113
Johnathan Reid: 131
Miguel Espino: 154
Jeff Fraza: 184 (in Light Welterweight class)
Jimmy Lange: 191
Tarick Salmaci: 250 (in Super Middleweight class)
Juan De La Rosa: 297
Brent Cooper: 423
Najai Turpin: deceased, no longer ranked

These are mathematical rankings based on who the fighters have fought. Human rankings tend to lower Ishe a bit and bring Manfredo much further up. Ishe and Manfredo are definitely the two most highly regarded boxers of the show.

Some of these fighters, like Cooper, Mora, and Gilbert, have never really fought outside their immediate area. And of course the two fighters ranked in heavier classes than Middleweight might rank more highly as Middleweights.

Some fights in the past among these fighters:
Ishe Smith over Alfonso Gomez, 06/2001
Peter Manfredo Jr. over Anthony Bonsante, 05/2004 (WBO NABO Light Middleweight Title)

"*Legion*" wrote:

Najai Turpin: deceased, no longer ranked

This strikes me as crass, insensitive, and entirely hilarious for some reason.

"Prederick" wrote:
crass, insensitive, and entirely hilarious

Three characteristics often directly applied to me.

I particularly have no problem mocking his death, given its self-inflicted nature. But it''s quite possible I would be as ""crass"" regardless of the circumstances.

So I caught the latest epsiode on CNBC last night which featured:

***Spoilers***

Manfredo Vs Gilbert

First of all a Split Decision? I am enough of a boxing fan to know that a crowd can influence judging, but even IF all the judges gave the 3rd and 4th rounds to Gilbert, I could not see him being up on any in the 5th.

Secondly, I''m not sure Gilbert actually won the 3rd and 4th rounds, It seemed to me that Manfredo was absorbing a lot of those puches with his gloves. Would be nice if they had compupunch numbers for the show.

Gilbert just making it to the last round was impressive, he took a beating in the first two rounds. Gilbert telling the doctor that he hurt everywhere after the fight was quite telling.

As far as next week''s episode, the preview eluded to the most shocking ending yet, which I''m guessing would have to be a KO.

Agreed Badferret. Although I do give rounds 3 and 4 to Gilbert because, while not nearly as dominant as Manfredo was in the first two rounds, he did land some power shots, while Manfredo seemed to take his foot off the gas. Manfredo Sr. was obviously disapproving of his son''s effort after the smashing first two rounds. I think he was right.

Come the 5th, when I watched it for the first time, it looked close. After I saw it a second time, it looked like Gilbert''s flurries were just being blocked by Manfredo. He was often an aggressor, but Manfredo seemed to be much more effective at actually landing the shots.

I keep wonder how much of the ""real"" fight we see, and how much of it is edited to make it appear that one fighter is doing better than the other. Like when they do the slow mo shots of particular hits. I noticed one or two of the times they did that with Gilbert the shot was blocked or just grazed Manfredo.

It''s a nice touch adding the explosion sound to those shots too.

Regardless of how it''s edited - the best man always wins.

"Loganrapp" wrote:
Regardless of how it''s edited - the best man always wins.

On this show I would agree, In boxing in general....

There are some problems with boxing scoring, but if you''ve watched recent Friday Night Fights, you''ll notice that the media showing these boxing fights have had enough of wishy-washing scoring.

In fact, Friday Night Fights have actually publicly and on the show made it known that they will never return to a certain area (Michigan, I believe) until that boxing circuit fires a certain judge or two.

SPOILERS

I took great joy in watching Bonsante''s daughter cry her eyes out.

""Noooo! Noooo! Noooo!""

"*Legion*" wrote:
SPOILERS

Glad to see I''m not the only heartless one. I couldn''t take another ""For my kids...sniffle sniffle"" speech.

The bald guy (sorry, I don''t know their names all that well) was TOTALLY losing, and you could tell his managers were like ""seriously, you need to knock this guy the f*ck out this round"" going into the 5th. I was like ""yeah right"" because he really didn''t look all that good, and then BAM! And then, BAM! Totally creamed the guy.

Great fight.

"Warlock" wrote:
The bald guy (sorry, I don''t know their names all that well) was TOTALLY losing, and you could tell his managers were like ""seriously, you need to knock this guy the f*ck out this round"" going into the 5th. I was like ""yeah right"" because he really didn''t look all that good, and then BAM! And then, BAM! Totally creamed the guy.

Great fight.

On the flip side Bonsante''s managers screwed him up big time. He was obviously way up on the cards after the 4th round, and yet they told him to keep pressing. He should have done everything to avoid actually fighting in the 5th round.

"Badferret" wrote:
On the flip side Bonsante''s managers screwed him up big time. He was obviously way up on the cards after the 4th round, and yet they told him to keep pressing. He should have done everything to avoid actually fighting in the 5th round.

I was thinking the same thing the whole 5th round, why the hell isn''t he just keeping his distance?? Then again his boxing style seemed to be street fighting with gloves on. I don''t think he threw a single jab in 5 rounds.

Boxrec''s world middleweight rankings for the final four.

Jesse Brinkley 20
Sergio Mora 22
Alfonso Gomez 24
Peter Mafredo Jr 39

And my rankings/favorites to win it all:

Mora 1; Gomez, Manfredo 2(tie); Brinkley 4

Also, since I imagine all who would be interested are following this thread, here is some rebroadcast info on the Castillo/Corrales fight.

""The new gold standard by which all fights will be judged was established last Saturday on Showtime. Lightweight world champions Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo produced not only what many regard as one of the greatest, most exciting fights in history, but also one of the most dramatic sporting events ever. And fight fans can enjoy all the drama and high octane action when Showtime replay the fight twice in the next four days. The first replay will air Tuesday, May 10, at 11 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME TOO. The second rebroadcast is Friday on Showtime at 11 p.m. ET/PT.""

Sergio''s rank sure flew up after beating Ishe. Everyone else''s has stayed pretty much the same since I posted them a couple weeks ago.

My rankings to win it all:
1. Manfredo
2. Mora
3. Brinkley
4. Gomez

I haven''t seen anything confirmed, but you have to think the Vegas final bout won''t be 5 rounds. More like 10 rounds, I hope. I don''t know if any of these guys beats Manfredo over 10 rounds. Possibly Sergio if he can get some more power into his punches. He has an uncanny ability to not take damage. Brinkley is the most experienced after Manfredo. Gomez is the least experienced. He''s NEVER fought a fight exceeding 6 rounds, and he hasn''t fought anyone of consequence outside of the show. Mora hasn''t fought anyone outside the show either, but I think his style could go a longer fight much more easily than Gomez''s.

Then again, maybe they''re doing 5 round fights the whole way. I hope not though.

I was thinking the same thing the whole 5th round, why the hell isn''t he just keeping his distance??

Because if you do that, you have to assume the judges are scoring the way you''re guessing they are. If only one round that you thought you had ended up going the other way, and you hand over the 5th too, then you hand over the fight.

Plus, Bonsante had success in the 4th keeping Brinkley''s attacks stalled. Bonsante''s knockdown didn''t come out of nowhere. In the 3rd round, his legs got shakey and he was close to meeting canvas then. I thought me might be going down in the 4th round, but he kept Brinkley off-balance. And he was having success doing so in the 5th as well, until he took the killer shots.

But you gotta try. The last thing you want to do against a desperate fighter is to let him be the unchallenged aggressor for 3 minutes. What do you think would''ve happened if he had just stepped back and let Brinkey throw bomb after bomb with impunity for 3 minutes? I think the same outcome was likely.

"*Legion*" wrote:

My rankings to win it all:
1. Manfredo
2. Mora
3. Brinkley
4. Gomez
.

Not gonna argue with your rankings or reasonings, but will expand upon mine.

Mora to me has looked the smoothest, has demonstrated a decent chin, and would be my favorite in a 8 or 10 round fight, to win a decission. The negative with him is that the other 3 all SEEM to have more pop in there punches.

I list Manfredo and Gomez as a tie, because they both have power, both leave themselves a little to open defensively, and while Manfredo has more experience and could handle a longer fight better than Gomez, I am giving points to Gomez for already beating Manfredo. So a toss up in my book.

Brinkley... hmm, certainly by record and exp, should be right up there with Manfredo, but I cant help but think he will be fighting again this week. The show implied that the winner of Brinkley vs Bosante might have to fight on two days notice. Assuming Manfredo is one opponent this next episode (Which the previews indicate) and Brinkley has to go again (Assuming he doesnt win the challenge, obviuos matchmaker pick or call out by anyone one else would be this match/Brinkley), I dont see Brinkley beating Manfredo.

"Badferret" wrote:
I list Manfredo and Gomez as a tie, because they both have power, both leave themselves a little to open defensively, and while Manfredo has more experience and could handle a longer fight better than Gomez, I am giving points to Gomez for already beating Manfredo. So a toss up in my book.

I understand that... but at the same time, I don''t think Gomez comes close to beating Manfredo if the fight goes beyond 5 rounds. One thing I''ve noticed about Manfredo is that he has had to adjust his pacing for the show. Manfredo has been fighting 10 round fights for a while now. I don''t think he quite understood immediately that he needed to adjust his pacing for the shorter fight. He was very measured, controlled... and not throwing enough punches to win rounds. He was running marathon-style in a sprint.

With each fight, he''s gotten better at being a more aggressive fighter for the short format. He still isn''t coming out of the gates fast enough, though.

Brinkley... hmm, certainly by record and exp, should be right up there with Manfredo, but I cant help but think he will be fighting again this week. The show implied that the winner of Brinkley vs Bosante might have to fight on two days notice. Assuming Manfredo is one opponent this next episode (Which the previews indicate) and Brinkley has to go again (Assuming he doesnt win the challenge, obviuos matchmaker pick or call out by anyone one else would be this match/Brinkley), I dont see Brinkley beating Manfredo.

Well that''s very good reasoning. Though by that logic, you''d have to consider Gomez fighting Mora, and given your rankings for them, I''d figure that would break your Manfredo/Gomez tie, since I''d guess you''d have Manfredo and Mora as your favorites for those fights.

"*Legion*" wrote:

Well that''s very good reasoning. Though by that logic, you''d have to consider Gomez fighting Mora, and given your rankings for them, I''d figure that would break your Manfredo/Gomez tie, since I''d guess you''d have Manfredo and Mora as your favorites for those fights.

Yeah, as I was typing that all out I realized as much, but I was tired of typing...

I will stick to my rankings just in case I am wrong on who is in the next fight. I still think a Manfredo vs Gomez is a war, though I think your probably right and Manfredo wins if that is the championship fight, if it happens this week and is a 5 round fight .

Well, Manfredo vs. Gomez was a war indeed.

I love the move to 7 rounds. Hopeful for 10 rounds in the final.

The difference between Manfredo and Gomez was striking. Manfredo is such a talented technical boxer. Gomez could do nothing when Manfredo got out of the way of his bull rushes. But when Manfredo got tied up and Gomez bull-rushed, then Gomez was able to do some damage.

Manfredo paced the fight better... Gomez got a couple strong rounds in the first 5 but by the 7th, he was ineffective.

My dream of a Manfredo vs. Mora final fight is one step closer. GO SERGIO.

A war Indeed!

*Legion*, your analysis was spot on, Gomez probably just needed one of the last 2 rounds, but couldnt do it. He fought hard, but Manfredo's polish made all the difference.

I too hope for a Manfredo vs Mora final that is a 10 round fight.

I do hope Gomez lands a decent trainer coming out of the show. He has a great heart, power and chin, but almost no technique.

BTW, I missed the first 10 mins of the rebroadcast tonight, can any one tell me how this fight came about, ie who won the challange?

There was no challenge. The four guys decided their fight. There wasn't any (shown) discussion or contention. All 4 seemed to be in agreement. Manfredo got the chance to get the monkey off his back in a rematch. Gomez got to fight the guy he already beat and was familiar with. Brinkley got to rest and fight in the 2nd fight instead of the 1st. And Mora got to fight the most damaged guy, and not have to fight his buddy Gomez OR the juggernaut Manfredo.

I'm becoming more convinced that the only guy that can beat Manfredo is himself. He's so controlled in the ring, so calm, and so without panic. Nobody in this competition is more comfortable in the ring than he is. Only problem is that he can be TOO calm and I think he's used to having his dad chew his ear off in the corner to get him going. He's kinda there now, but there's a difference between him standing outside the ring, and him being in your corner and up in your face.

You're definitely right - Gomez needs to get a real trainer to get the potential out of him. He was among the most inexperienced in the whole show (I think only the kid, Juan De La Rosa, has fewer professional fights).

Won't be surprised to see Gomez on Friday Night Fights sometime or something...

*spoilers*

Sooo, as I am still without cable (Charter is coming tuesday, at least they better as they are forcing me to miss a half day at work) I did not see the Mora vs Brinkley fight, but just read the round by round details at the contender websight, and it sounds like it went about as I expected.

*Legion* care to give your account, how did Sergio's chin look?

Any predictions for the final fight?

Boxrec has Mora at 12 now and Manfredo at 13, so if nothing else this show will have produced a top 10 fighter. I have enjoyed the show, but have the feeling it will not be back.

Welll, that one guy won, and the other lost. The fight didn't look all that spectacular, but I wasn't following this, so my opinion is obviously slanted.

I think this will be back. As long as people are desperate for money/fame this will be back. This tried to mix the drama of Rocky with reasonable low-level boxing, and I can't see NBC not jumping at another chance to have another 10 fighters talk about how this one's for their Daughter/Mother/Deceased Father.

Badferret,

Mora was not as dominant as I wanted him to be. Still, based on the footage I saw, and a little critical thinking to try and see through them making the fight look closer than it was, I'd score the fight 5 rounds to 2 for Sergio. But a couple of those 5 were close to going the other way.

Prediction for the next fight? Assuming 10 rounds (it's not a title fight, so it wouldn't be 12 rounds), I'd probably take Manfredo 6 rounds to 4. Though I can easily see Sergio getting on a roll if he can avoid getting tied up in a close quarters match.

I read somewhere that we have an undercard of Contender fighters to look forward to too.

* SPOILERS *

Gomez won the "bronze" fight over Brinkley.

While Sly said he thought it was 3 rounds to 1 going into the 5th, I had it 2 rounds to 2. So did 2 of the 3 judges, based on the final scores.

I had the fight:
R1: Brinkley 10-9
R2: Brinkley 10-9
R3: Gomez 10-9
R4: Gomez 10-9
R5: Gomez 10-9
Total: Gomez 48-47

Brinkley controlled the fight early with his jab. Gomez has no jab. After Gomez did some damage, though, Brinkey's jab disappeared. He needed to keep Gomez at arm's length and control the fight, but when it devolved into a toe-to-toe slugfest, Gomez did it better.