Contender Recap: Queens Sends Texas Packin'
Is this The Contender or have I switched channels inadavertently, and come across some MTV reality show set in a sorority house? If I have, I don't mind, because the disses are flying fast and furious, and it's pretty entertaining.
Jaidon Codrington, the Queens, NY-based hitter and Texan Brian Vera continued their beef from the amateurs on the second episode of The Contender Tuesday night on ESPN, and it was the New Yorker who bested the Lone Star pugilst, as he did when they fought almost five years ago. To add insult to injury, Codrington tortured Vera verbally leading up to his second round KO.
"Max, you help Brian pack? Sakio, you helping him pack?" Codrington bellowed as he stepped forward and accepted the first Contender arena match on the third season of the program. "I want to make Vera quit, make him cry and send him home embarassed," the New Yorker blustered.
He didn't make the man wail, but he did send him home, as a counter left hook turned the Texan's legs to mushy pasta. Two rights finished the beginning of the end, as Vera fell to the canvas. He got up at five, but Codrington smelled the end. He threw three left hooks, and Vera was defenseless, slumped against the ropes, forcing referee Pat Russell to halt the contest at 1:32.
One compelling subplot that might not come to fruition came when Oscar De La Hoya showed up with Golden Boy reps Kassim Ouma and Panchito Bojado. They were supposed to fight Sergio Mora, season one champ, and Stevie Forbes, season two runner-up, the Contender alums, on Sept. 15, but that card was scrapped (Juan Manuel Marquez had a cut on his hand).
Oscar and Sugar Ray Leonard made a little wager to spice up the action. If the Golden Boys prevailed, SRL would have to parade as a round card girl. If the Contender crew won, Oscar would have to sashay carrying a round card.
SRL and ODLH also showed the gang their rope skipping form, and it must be said that the 51-year-old Leonard got the better of that square-off. Pause to ponder: what would've what down if SRL and ODLH had squared off, each in their prime? I like Leonard, myself...
That levity broke up the in-house bickering, which was exacerbated by some of the fighters stoking the fires, for strategic purposes. Codrington was on Vera from the start and the two were pulled apart during one vicious word war, before punches flew. With words, and fists, the Don carved up Vera.
Sidenote: Sugar Poo Buchanan left the show for personal reasons, so Miguel Hernandez came back into the mix. He looks like he's been chowing since he got the boot in the first episode, so Sam Solimon put him through an Aussie conditioning sesh to pare down his gut a bit.
SPEEDBAG The Don is still fixated on the fast, furious smashout that Allan Green put on him in 2005. Codrington was 9-0, a Chin Checker, and his chin got checked, and wrecked, in 18 seconds in the first round of their faceoff. Will they ever meet again? Or will it be like John Ruiz, who has never gone back and tried to remedy the 19 second 1996 rubout at the hands of David Tua?