Only the Strongest Will Survive
This is the first episode of the second round. We are looking at the Elite Eight here! Since it’s not enough for the editors to recap only last week’s double header of fights, they recap the entire first round! First, Cornelius Bundrage (aka K9) took out Michael Clark, then Norberto Bravo defeated Rudy Cisneros, followed by Gary Balletto sending Aaron Torres home and then Walter Wright beat Andre Eason. Also, Grady Brewer won over Vinroy Barrett, Michael Stewart won over his friend Ebo Elder (with the only KO of the first round), Nick Acevedo over Jeff Fraza and finally, Steve Forbes took out Freddy Curiel.
So we are reminded of Steve’s win from last week and he talks about his performance in the ring. Back in the loft, the other guys are discussing all of the first round winners and their fights. Steve returns and we are told that he and Nick will have only 3 days to prepare as they are the first matchup of round two.
Sugar Ray comes up to the loft and speaks to the guys about Nick’s win. He gets his gold glove necklace, then he talks about Steve’s win and he also gets his necklace. He tells the fighters that they are the Elite Eight, that there are no more teams and it will now be every man for himself. We are reminded of the pairings placed on the bracket wall for round two, fight numbers 9 through 12 of the tournament. First up! Steve vs. Nick in fight 9, fight 10 will be K9 vs. Wright, fight 11 will be Grady Brewer vs. Michael Stewart and fight 12 will be Norberto Bravo vs. Gary Balletto.
The guys who are left now will be treated to a great reward! It’s time for them to celebrate! Sugar Ray, Tommy and Jeremy take all the guys shopping to get brand new suits. Tommy tries to talk each of them into getting a cummerbund! Uh… T? I hate to break it to you, but guys don’t actually wear those unless they’re forced into wearing one for a wedding! They all pick out some very stylish outfits. They are pimped out from head to toe! Their suits include hats for some of them, very nice ties and even shiny new shoes. Some of them are a bit too color coordinated, if you ask me.
Once they are completely outfitted, it’s off to a fancy dinner. Sugar Ray and the guys all talk about the upcoming pairings and then they are told that Sugar Ray has an extra special reward waiting, but the guys need to vote on which fighter of the first round showed the most heart. They go around the table and each fighter makes his pick. Of the eight fighters, one votes for K9, one votes for Steve, three vote for Michael Stewart and three vote for Norberto Bravo. Sugar Ray will break the tie between Stewart and Bravo and decides that Bravo gets the special reward for symbolizing the underdog in the first round by beating Michael Clark. He gives him the keys to a brand new Toyota Tundra and they all go outside to check out the truck.
Next up we see our two fighters preparing for the next match. The segments go back and forth between them. In between the bits, the guys weigh in. Nick is 150 pounds and Steve is 149. Nick’s scenes show us he is trying to rest up a bit, he gets a massage and goes running. He tells us about growing up on the lower eastside of NYC. Later, in his locker room, he talks about focus and views this like a chess match, his family visits. Steve is shown in the ring throwing air punches. He tells us he got the name “2 pound” because he was a preemie and weighed only 2 pounds at birth. He sees himself as a survivor because of this. Nobody expects a 2 pound baby to make it and he’s always had to struggle to stay alive. He also says, given his circumstances, he tries to fight with ferocity. In his locker room, he gets a visit from his wife, who understands he doesn’t want her visit to be a distraction.
On to the fight! The guys no longer have their blue and gold trunks on. They will wear their own colors. Steve is dressed in brown trunks and a robe with red stripes, while Nick shows his Puerto Rican colors and sports red trunks and a robe with white stripes, blue fringe and Puerto Rican flags.
In round 1, Nick lands several combinations and Steve doesn’t look as primed as he did in his last fight. From the bit we are shown, I’d say Nick took this round. In round 2, Steve really wakes up and hits Nick with several uppercuts and body blows! He also finally lands some good combos and really turns it on at the end of the round. Score one for Steve. Round 3 starts out seemingly even, but then Nick lands about a million combos and gets Steve a little off his legs. I’d count this one for Nick. In round 4 they’re both slowing down. Obviously, their previous battles have taken their toll. They look a bit tired, but Steve gets in quite a few uppercuts and some combos and looks to take this round. In round 5, Steve lands several more combos, including some uppercuts and a wailing bunch of body blows. Clearly Steve can turn it on in the end and takes this round. Basically, I score the match 48 – 47 for Steve. Let’s see if the judges agree with the score: Judge 1 scores it 48 – 47 for Steve, judge 2 scores it 48 – 47 for Nick and judge 3 scores it 48 – 47 for Steve, so by split decision…
Steve Forbes is now in what he calls “The Fabulous Four”! He tells us Nick is a champ. Nick tells us he ran out of gas, he was fatigued and he is disappointed that he came up short. He hangs his gloves and leaves the gym.
Next week: K9 and Walter have some very bad blood between them, they will finally settle it all in the ring!
A tribe original ©2006