Recap: The Contender Season 4, Episode 7

Only ten fighters remain in Season Four, and the first doubleheader of the tournament will finish the first round and reduce that number to eight. The Gold Team has had control for several weeks and will once again decide the pairings for the last two first round bouts.

The early spotlight is on Tim Flamos of the Gold Team as he checks in with his home. The oldest fighter in the tournament at 41, Flamos almost retired after his last fight but was talked out of it by his son.

Trainers Tommy Brooks (Gold) and John Bray (Blue) share some frustrations about the fighters not listening to them. It's especially hard on Bray, a former fighter who feels he never lived up to his promise and doesn't want to see the same thing happen to the competitors on the show.

Last week's winner Troy Ross talks over his choices with Brooks. He can either put himself in the one remaining empty bracket or go for Felix Cora Jr. who everyone seems to avoid. Ross chooses the latter, and Cora says it will be a good competitive fight.

When Tony Danza gathers the fighters, Rico Hoye steps forward for Gold and calls out Mike Alexander. That leaves Flamos and Ryan Coyne in the final fight.

Brooks says both fights are good style match-ups and either could be ended by one shot. Is he foreshadowing? We'll see.

Hoye is from Detroit and was a former top-10 caliber light heavyweight before running into trouble with the law. He says he considered moving on but somehow drifted back to boxing. His plan is to set up his offense off the jab.

Alexander hails from Columbus, Ohio, and he knows he's in for a big challenge. His goal is to keep Hoye moving.

The first two rounds go mostly Alexander's way, as it's clear that both men can land and are there to be hit in return. Brooks tells Hoye to let his hands go more because he is losing the fight.

Hoye appears to take round three and four with excellent work on the inside. Alexander looks like he may be running out of gas, and Bray implores him not to blow a fight he was winning.

The fifth and final round is fairly ugly with lots of wrestling. Both fighters do some good things, but Hoye seems to get the best of it and is clearly fresher when the final bell rings.

The judges come to a unanimous decision, scoring it 48-47 and 49-46 twice for Hoye. Alexander tips his hat to the victor, saying he was a bit winded and arm-weary down the stretch. Bray tells him his stock went up with that performance, and that if he gets himself in top condition he has a bright future.

Flamos and Coyne prepare to close out the first round. Coyne speaks a little bit about being the youngest fighter at 26, and how he once thought his future was in football (he played linebacker at Missouri) until injuries pushed him toward boxing.

Brooks tells Flamos he must stick to the plan and stay off the ropes. Bray reminds Coyne he has an advantage in talent, so if he listens he will come out on top.

Round One sets the tone with Flamos coming forward and Coyne laying back and making him pay with quick jabs and uppercuts on the inside. Neither man shows off textbook technique, and Bray is worried about clashes of heads.

Sure enough, Coyne is cut above the right eye - his cut in training a few weeks ago was above his left - in the second round. Bray is beside himself, telling his charge that he's turning an easy night into a tough fight.

Like the first fight, this one seems like it may be there for the taking in the fifth round. Flamos stays aggressive, but Coyne lands a few big shots amidst plenty of holding. Both fighter stand and trade all the way until the bell.

A split decision is announced, with 48-47 scores both ways and one judge seeing it 49-46 for Coyne. In a rare move, Danza goes in and congratulates the losing Flamos. He says he's not sure what his future holds, and he hangs up his gloves and departs the training center.

Next week: Coyne's future in the tournament is once again in jeopardy due to a cut. And the second round begins with an intriguing fight, as tournament favorite Cora steps in against Ross.

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