Recap: The Contender Season 4, Episode 10

This week's recap shows the departure of Ryan Coyne due to injury and the return of Joell Godfrey, who lost during the very first episode. A.K. Laleye sent Alfredo Escalera home, leaving us with six fighters remaining. We'll be down to the final four after tonight's doubleheader.

The remnants of the Gold Team are not upset to see Escalera go. They reflect a bit on how strange it is for six men who were once teammates having to fight each other for the championship. There's a short training spotlight on Godfrey, and everyone agrees he looks a lot less rusty this week.

He's not up first though, as Deon Elam and Hino Ehikhamenor are on tap for the first fight. Elam plans to throw more punches and work off his jab, while Hino feels his experience and slicker style will win out.

We waste no time and get right into the action. Elam is the aggressor right out of the gate. He doesn't throw tons of punches, but it's more than Elam can muster. Deon does cover up well to pick off punches with his arms, he's just not letting his hands go.

Round Three shows why that might be, as Elam gets hit often as he looks to punch. He does pick it up late in the round, though it doesn't appear to be enough to win him the round.

Trainer John Bray begs Elam to be first, and he charges out after the bell and stuns his opponent with a combo. Ehikhamenor looks like he might be in trouble, but he gets his legs back under him and is coming forward again by the end of the round.

The final round turns into a slugfest, with Hino more than holding his own. We go to the judges scorecards and they all saw it the same way: 49-46 for Ehikhamenor.

Deon says he knows he started too slowly, and he thanks Bray for giving him advice that would have been good enough to win if he had followed it. It's Elam's first loss as a pro - he was 10-0 going into the fight.

Leading up to the second bout, Hoye explains that he was locked up for ten years for shooting someone. He fights to honor his dad and grandfather, both of whom passed away while he was incarcerated.

Godfrey is looking forward to making something of his unexpected second chance. He wants to use his quickness to get in and out, but he feels his most important improvement from his first fight will be mental.

The pace set by Godfrey to start the fight is a fast one, but Hoye is successful at cutting off the ring and making Joell fight with his back against the ropes. Hoye looks like he wins the first two rounds in that manner, with Laleye noting that both men are going to be tired.

Tommy Brooks wants more combos from Hoye. Bray asks for straight counter shots from Godfrey, who finally figures out how to avoid getting trapped about halfway through the fight. He comes on down the stretch in the third round and clearly wins the fourth by sticking and moving.

It's possible that the fight is there for the taking in Round Five, and both men seem willing to trade. Hoye gets the upper hand with a series of clubbing right hands, sending Godfrey stumbling. Rico pours it on and Joell is forced to take a knee late in the round from a combination of punishment and fatigue. The judges turn in a unanimous decision for Hoye, eliminating Godfrey again.

Godfrey says he's still green, so just being in the tournament was a valuable learning experience. Bray tells him he should be proud for giving it his all and that he thinks Joell has a bright future in the sport. Godfrey hangs his gloves up for the second time, and we're down to just four men standing.

Next Week: It's the semifinals. Troy Ross takes on Laleye, and Hino squares off with Hoye.

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