DON'T READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW THE RESULTS
Apparently The Contender Season 1 and Season 2 format succumbed to low ratings. So here we have a new approach, as discussed in another thread: a Ryder Cup-like US v. UK seven-match, eight-round format.
In a UK first, Barry McGuigan will lead a team consisting of Wayne Alexander, 24-3, Anthony Small, 15-0, Ross Minter 16-1-1, Martin Concepcion, 11-3, Paul Smith, 18-0, Paul Buchanan, 8-0-1 and Nigel Wright, 17-2. In the opposite corner Sugar ray Leonard will lead a team of former US reality TV stars, set to include Alfonso Gomez, 15-3-2, Walter “Two Guns” Wright, 13-2, Grady Brewer, 22-11, Jerson Ravelo, 17-2, Freddy Curiel, 16-6, Cornelius “K9″ Bunderage, 25-2, and Miguel Espino, 13-2-1.
Well, not quite. I see Jonathan Reid ended up fighting instead of Grady Brewer. And Jesse Brinkley fought in place of Miguel Espino. Who is Jerson Ravelo? And where did this tomato can Jonathan Nelson (16-15 going into the match) come from?
But the matches have already been fought (on March 30) and have been discussed in the UK. So...
Anthony Small (UK) split decision over Walter Wright
Paul Smith (UK) TKO over Jonathan Reid R7
Freddy Curiel (US) TKO over Ross Minter R8
Nigel Wright (UK) TKO over Jonathan Nelson (who?) R2
Cornelius "K-9" Bundrage (US) TKO over Colin McNeil R7
Alfonso Gomez (US) TKO over Martin Concepcion R7
Jerson Ravelo (US) unanimous decision over Paul Buchanan
Robin Reid (UK) unanimous decision over Jesse Brinkley
We see that there were eight matches, not seven, and they split 4-4. I wonder how the show will be edited.
More info -- from Frank Warren's website:
Anthony Small earned the UK their first ever Contender point – but survived a torrid final round at the MetroRadio Arena in Newcastle.
Small, 25, had promised all week to spank a yank, but in the eighth against Walter “2 Guns” Wright found himself in big trouble for the first time in his professional career.
A fight that had meandered along for seven rounds – the crowd booed the lack of action after the fifth and sixth - suddenly burst into life, and Small, with his face bloodied, looked at one point as if might struggle to survive.
Suddenly, the crowd were cheering instead of jeering in what was an utterly compelling three minutes of action.
But the best of the action was in the first 90 seconds – Wright had punched himself out in the first minute and a half, and couldn’t nail down a knockout that at one point seemed his for the taking.
In the end, the American lost a split decision, 77-76 in his favour but 77-75 and 78-74 to Small. It gave the UK a 1-0 lead in their race for the Sugar Ray Leonard Cup.
Ironically it was American judge, Jack Reiss, who gave Small the biggest margin of victory.
Wright looked furious at the decision, which was greeted by cheers from the partisan home crowd, but only had himself to blame.
He allowed Small to set the pace in the opening rounds, his greater hand speed and movement serving to confuse the American.
Yet in the eighth Wright, 26, decided to go for broke, nailing Small early on and forcing blood to pour from his nose.
As Small reeled across the ring, Wright went after him, but couldn’t find the knockout punch.
Small, badly hurt, came firing back, and by the end of the round both boxers had fought themselves to a standstill.
There may have been a question mark over the fitness of Wright – who was heavily fancied to win the second Contender series - although he looked in tremendous shape.
Perhaps the pressure got to him as it had in Contender, when he lost to Cornelius Bundrage, but whatever the reason for his lack of ambition, he now has a third loss on his record against 13 wins. Small moves to 17-0, and despite his tricky eighth, this will go down as the best win of his career.
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