Recap: The Contender Season 4, Episode 5

Tonight's episode begins with a rather lengthy recap of what's gone on so far, perhaps acknowledging that no one was likely to have seen the previous two episodes that aired on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Deon Elam's win over Richard Gringas last week has the two teams even at six men each with the Gold Team in control of the next fight.

Everyone on the Gold Team agrees that the most recent fight was the toughest one so far. They have their eye on two boxers on the Blue Team: Ryan Coyne, who is still recovering from a cut above his left eye, and Darnell "Ding-A-Ling Man" Wilson, who has been battling weight problems.

Blue trainer John Bray complains about Wilson's eating habits and questions his commitment to making weight. Wilson is shown having a hard time resisting starches.

The training focus is mostly on Hino Ehikhamenor, who originally hails from Nigeria and works as a personal trainer when he's not boxing. Coyne is back sparring but looks tentative, and Bray keeps him from doing too much.

Danza gathers both teams and gets them to applaud the effort shown in last week's fight. He editorializes a bit and says that even the winning fighters don't seem to be heeding the advice of their trainers. Elam gets the chance to place himself in the second round, and he avoids Felix Cora Jr. and slots into one of the bottom-half fights instead.

It's no surprise when Callout Day arrives and Hino steps forward for the Gold Team. It is a bit surprising when he chooses Wilson, proving that it's very easy to out-think yourself in a format like this. Ehikhamenor tells Danza he simply thinks Wilson will be a better fight.

Ten hours before the fight, Wilson is still a bit heavy. He goes to work to shed the last few pounds but Bray is obviously displeased. Hino also thinks his foe has been spending too much time cutting and not enough time practicing his craft.

Weigh-in time arrived and Hino tips the scale at 196 3/4 pounds. They play up the drama for Wilson, who is right on the button at 200 pounds.

We get a little insight into the strategy from both corners. Bray cautions Wilson not to let Hino outwork him, while Tommy Brooks wants to see his guy use his jab and dance. Brooks says both men can bang.

Round One sets the tone with Hino looking speedy but wild and Wilson throwing less but swinging for the fences. A wild exchange leads to Ehikhamenor scoring a knockdown, though Wilson pops right back up.

Wilson goes down again in the second, but the ref calls it a slip caused by Hino stepping on his foot. Bray implores him to use uppercuts and stop looking for single shots.

Hino controls the next two rounds but spends as much time mugging and showboating as he does boxing. He gets rocked late in the third but looks like he easily wins the fourth with movement, as Wilson is simply swinging at air on several occasions. Danza tells what looks like a random fan that both men look like they may walk into something big.

The fifth and final round is somewhat anticlimactic with Ehikhamenor landing the cleaner shots. The scorecards offer no surprises, with Hino winning lopsided decisions from all three judges.

Hino says he feels a win over a cruiserweight with as much renown as Wilson moves him to a whole different dimension. The disappointed Wilson owns up to mot taking his conditioning seriously enough and give Ehikhamenor his due. He says he recovered from a four-fight losing streak earlier in his career and will bounce back from this setback too.

Next week: Hino has a tough decision on where to place himself in the second round. Blue Team tries to "reverse the curse." And an Asian master pays the boxers a visit.

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