Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Wow, I Totally Don't Think "The Contender" Sucks Anymore

Hallelujah, that Jaidon Codrington-Sakio Bika "Contender" finale was special. I'm not kidding; it wasn't just good in a condescending "good for a reality show fight" kind of way, it was great in its own right. It was certainly one of the best fights of the year so far, keeping in mind I haven't seen in full a couple of the other small-c contenders (two of Michael Katsidis' brawls), but it's at least behind the two Israel Vasquez-Rafael Marquez spectacles. And it wasn't quite "one of the best fights ever" as ESPN's Brian Kenny was trying to hype it, but I'd take the 1st round as one of the best rounds, if not the best round, of the year. Codrington goes down; Bika goes down; Bika stumbles around hurt until near the end of the round, then he hurts Codrington again. The pattern repeated throughout, with each combatant trading turns nearly hitting the deck until finally Bika outlasted Codrington and scored the TKO in the 8th. Any time I'm jumping out of my seat and shouting expletives, that's a really, really good fight.

Bika was just too experienced, strong and rock-jawed. Codrington got tired, some from Bika's punches and some from only having to go three rounds in the whole Contender tournament, while Bika had to go 13 really hard ones in his road to the finale. Codrington, in fact, was stumbling from exhaustion when he got caught with the punches that finished him, and the angle of his stumble directly contributed to the knockout. But Codrington's just 23. He's got powder kegs for fists, lightning speed and intimidating offensive technique. If he works on his conditioning and defense, he'll be a world champion one day. I'm a true believer now. As for Bika? Hell, he's $750,000 richer, and he'll make a pretty penny more drawing fans in the future as a direct result of having won "The Contender" finale. He can probably challenge again for a world title credibly, but whereas Codrington can and likely will exceed the institutional heights of "runner-up on 'The Contender,'" I bet this is the climax of Bika's career. Not that it's a bad thing. If I was a boxer, I'd gladly take "two-time championship contender and one-time winner of a popular reality show that gives me more exposure than winning a world title would've."


JimPanzee said...

The fight was intense and intensely frustrating. It looked to me like Codrington's first fall was more of a slip than a result of the punch, which was padded glove to glove. Codrington's fall started at his feet, not his head. I think the knocked down call was fair, punches were involved. I just want to give proper respect to Codrington who took a lot of serious punches after that one and shook them off (minus one more knee in the sixth and the standing TKO, of course).

His quick hands and power could have done Bika in if Codrington wasn't too afraid to go inside and seal the deal. It was frustrating to see Bika, clearly dazed, almost drooling the general direction of his adversary who was naively staring back and waiting for a strong wind to push SB to the mat.

Although some of his trepidation may have come from his trainer who was encouraging distance and "angles" both of which led to his being in the pathway of Bika's windmill punches.

I'm looking forward to Codrington's next match now.

Also...who's up for Soliman? I just want to see that guy get devastated, crushed, bruised, beaten and then maybe stomped on. Maybe that's harsh but his bout had me screaming in frustration the entire time. I mean, punch-hug is a combo that works (as frustrating as it may be.) But, c'mon! duck-hug? or miss-miss-hug--those aren't boxing. I don't know what that is.

Tim -- said...

And the ref totally shouldn't have let Bika punch Codrington while he was on the ground in the 1st.

I think Codrington was afraid because he was getting hammered and his confidence is still recovering from a humiliating 1st round KO that was the best of the year in 2005, I believe was the year. Look up "Jaidon Codrington" on YouTube and all you get is him getting slaughtered in 17 seconds. And, of course, he's young and inexperienced.

As for Soliman: Funny, but no way! I can't root against the guy despite the ugly performance. I, like you, hate hit-hug-miss-miss-hug, but he was easily the most likable contestant this season, plus I think of him as the endearing underdog who nearly beat Winky Wright in what would have been a huge upset. (Double-plus, he didn't look half-bad in that Wright fight, standing and slugging and throwing lots of punches from funky angles all octopus-like.)

Dammrod said...

I was impressed by both fighters. Jaidon had thunder in his fists, and lightning in his feet, and Sakio showed intense desire and durability. One of the questions lingering over Jaidon as he came into the fight was how would he react to being hurt. Could he bounce back, or would it be the Green fight all over again? I was glad to see how much heart this young man had. He came back again and again until he just couldn't come back anymore.

Kudos to both men. The Contender looks like it's getting better with each season.

BOB said...

Codrington would have stopped Bika in the 1st round if he knew of this punch called an uppercut.

Tim -- said...

Dammrod: It's true. Codrington's become kind of a "good news" story. He behaved poorly in the buildup to the Green fight, but Green's own loutishnesss made Codrington seem like a good guy by comparison. I was rooting for him to bounce back, plus the whole dad-suicide thing made it easy to be in his corner. He clearly has recovered from the big KO, and I'm glad about it.

Bob: Good point. So maybe he needs to work on his offense a little, too.