Catching Up With The Contender

contender_logo.jpgI finally remembered to set my DVR, no thanks to you, and as such I was able to catch up with The Contender after only seeing one episode previous. A series of quick observations:

  • For those who missed this edition, first, the results and happenings. Rico Hoye, one of the top names on the show, won a unanimous decision over Michael Alexander. Then, Ryan Coyne beat Tim Flamos in a split decision. But Coyne suffered a bad cut due to a head butt, and the scenes they showed from next week suggested he may not be able to continue on the show. Meanwhile, Troy Ross picked Felix Cora, Jr. for his second round opponent.
  • I wish I could get filmed throwing punches on the top of a building in Singapore.
  • Hey, they threw in a little family there, even though it was only over the phone. I know Flamos’ kid wanted him to keep fighting, making for one of the few emotional moments of the episode, but when Flamos said he still had his health at 41, I wondered if he heard how he was a little slurry while saying it.
  • After the episode I saw where they showed basically the whole fight, they were down to about 1:15 per round, perhaps because they had to do a double-header. This is why it would still be good to put the entire fights somewhere, even if just on the Versus website.
  • Does anyone know why “gorilla warfare” is written on the board in the gold team’s training room? I would’ve assumed they meant “guerilla warfare.”
  • For Hoye-Alexander, we didn’t get a sense of these guys’ personalities as much as we did for Coyne-Flamos. If they’re not going to show interactions with everyone’s families, which they can’t by design, then they need to show more than just one-on-one interviews to give us a flavor of who they are. Maybe more interactions between the fighters themselves? I’m weirdly torn over this because I didn’t originally like The Contender in part because I just wanted straight up boxing, but if I’m going to watch a reality show, I want to know who these men are. I’ve seen others complain about this, too.
  • I worry about the ratings. The show doesn’t seem to be getting as much buzz this year as in past years, as far as write-ups on boxing sites go.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.