Tuesday, August 08, 2006
The Contender is middle of the road when it comes to the first 40 minutes of the show, with some training, smack talking, etc. But the fights, which occur near the end of the show, have been spectacular. Now I didn't start watching until this season, but it has been damn fun.
The fights are 5 rounds each, which means nobody paces themselves- they just beat the tar out of each other. Since these guys aren't completely polished boxers, they have a hard time blocking punches. Actually, it seems that they land punches at about an 80% success rate. It's terrific. Not only that, but two of the first three fights were so evenly matched that I had no idea who won. These guys aren't guaranteed millions before a fight, and most of them are fighting to support their families, which means you really see true guts in each fight. No hugging or hanging on each other, just straight up beatdowns.
Not only are the fights great, but there are some very likeable characters. And listen to these cool boxing names: Gary Balletto, Norberto Bravo, Vinroy Barrett, Andre Eason, Walter Wright, and of course, Cornelius "K9" Bundrage. It's worth turning on just so you can stare in amazement (in a straight way) at how these guys can possibly be under 147 lbs. when they fight.
This is better than any Pay-Per-View, check it out every Tuesday at 10pm on ESPN.