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August 28, 2015

The Contender crowns a champion

by Brett Love, posted Sep 28th 2006 7:45AM
The ContenderESPN has a winner for The Contender. If you can't wait, the answer is after the jump. But if you have a moment, I have a couple thoughts on the show. They made some big changes for this new season. First and foremost, Sly was nowhere to be found. Sugar Ray Leonard took over all the hosting duties. And that wasn't a good thing. Ray is a good guy, and a hell of a fighter, but as a host, he leaves much to be desired.

On top of that, the format of the show changed. Before, each week there was a competition. The winning team got to pick the fight for the week. This season, the team of the winner from the previous fight picked the next one. That left a big chunk of time to fill in each episode. That wasn't automatically bad, but the way they chose to fill it wasn't the best. From the episodes I saw, which was probably three quarters of them, more often than not a lot of that time went to showing us the same story for each fighter. Doing it for his family. Rough past. Orchestral music swelling. It got a little tedious.

Grady BrewerI think the show could have still been good despite that, but there was one more big problem. Horribly produced fights. This is a show about boxing. Everything should center and build on that weekly fight. But if you tried to watch one of those fights it was almost impossible to tell what exactly was going on. Rather than just ring the bell and let 'em go, the fights are all edited for effect. So you never know exactly what order these things are happening, or just what it is that was cut out. And again, orchestral swells.

The producers behind The Contender could take a lesson from the team doing The Ultimate Fighter for Spike. It rarely plays that sappy emotion card, and you always see the fight. Short, long, whatever, you have to see the fight.

I think the idea behind The Contender is still a good one. If they are going to move forward with another season though, I would like to see a professional host. Someone that has experience with this kind of thing. It doesn't have to be a boxer, just someone good on TV. And more than anything, we have to see all of the fights, in real time, start to finish.

In the end, Lawton, Oklahoma's Grady Brewer bested everyone and was named The Contender.

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I always go back to Greg Geraldo..

"We used to have a show that crowned the best boxer..it was called BOXING"

Why the hell should we care about a bunch of amateurs?

September 30 2006 at 1:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hated the announcer, I could do without the hard luck stories. Sugar Ray wasn't too bad, I think he will get better with time.

September 29 2006 at 6:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I disagree about Sugar Ray being the host. I thought he did a decent job. As a boxing novice, it would have been an added bonus if he had explained more about boxing instead of the constant Cinderella Man story. Yes, we get it, boxers have a tough life and this is an opportunity of a lifetime.

I do agree about the editing of the fight itself. Let 'em box and show us the real deal. A boxing match typically has enough crowd pleasing moments, leave it alone.

September 28 2006 at 2:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jeez, why am I even posting about this show...
You're right on all points on how to improve this show. Though I could deal with all of the tough-luck stories, the fight is the worst part of this show. Where do I start:
- Horrible ring announcer.
- Walk down the tunnel where the fighter has to open the doors himself. Lol, it's so bad.
- Fake crowd sounds?
- Silly comments from Sugar.
- Extreme closeups of the fight.

Less "Survivor", more "Ultimate Fighter." Show it like a real fight!

September 28 2006 at 11:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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