This is a tale of an epic battle between good and evil, of East versus West. In the beginning there were 16 fighters all with one purpose…to be the middleweight champ of the earth. These boxers never had the chance to do this before. Tossed aside like yesterdays trash, used and abused by agents and promoters, these men all have one thing in common, they know how to talk the talk, but can they walk the walk? In the end, only one man will be left standing to claim the million dollar prize and become the Lord of the Ring.
Two boxing legends, Sylvester “Rocky Bilbo Baggins” Stallone, and Sugar Ray “The King” Leonard are our merry narrators. I wasn’t sure that Sly was still alive after all these years, he must be 111 by now. But you know the old saying “Old Hobbits die hard”, and so we shall be on our way.
As in any good drama, this one has its share of heroes and villains. Previously on the Contender, Wishy-washy Ishe “Frodo” Smith performed an act of cowardice, which opened the door for his West teammate Jesse “Strider” Brinkley to step up and be the man. While Wishy-washy was having diarrhea of the mouth, verbally sparring with East foe Ahmed “Gollum” Khadork, Jesse spoke volumes with his fists and defeated formidable opponent Jonathan Reid in a bout that put the West up 2-0.
We open with Wishy-washy wishing that Jesse had lost even though they are on the same team. He sure looks comfortable wearing yellow doesn’t he? Maybe we shouldn’t be too hard on the man feather bearer, I mean after all, boxing just isn’t a team sport, right? Nah, even his mother had a hard time deciding his fate when he was born. “Is he a boy? Is he a girl? I know, we’ll name him Ishe because we will always be wondering.”
Jesse gathers his belongings and heads over to the Contender housing to spend some time with his girlfriend and two kids. After chowing on a salami and cream cheese sandwich Jesse reveals in confessional “I’m really happy with the outcome of the fight. We only have one weak player on our team, and that is Ishe Smith. He doesn’t know who to fight, he doesn’t know when to fight.”
Almost as though she can read his mind, his girlfriend asks “When do you think Ishe is going to fight?”
Back to confessional Jesse admits, “Ishe just needs to get some confidence, I don’t know it seems like he’s lost it. But I’m not going to help him, because he is a gun that wants to kill me. If you give him some advice and he gets some confidence, confident fighters can be dangerous.”
The boxers are working out and the trash talking has begun. Khadork is running his mouth to Alfonso, telling him how weak and yellow Wishy-washy is, that he isn’t a man, and that this means war. Alfonso can’t really say too much to back Ishe up, so he just smiles and says “Only time will tell.”
Khadork confidently tells the camera “Ishe proved that he is scared. They won the challenge and he didn’t pick me to fight. So now the next time we are going to win the challenge and I can guarantee you that I will pick Ishe Smith.”
Rocky Bilbo Baggins calls the teams together near the ring and presents Jesse with his golden boxing glove necklace. He then tells the West that thanks to Jesse’ win they get to be treated to a reward. Tommy “Gandalf” meets them in the corridor and tells them “Today we are going to live like the other half lives.”
The team gets into a very long very proper limousine and they head downtown to Lioni’s, a very expensive men’s clothing store. Tommy says “You each get to pick out your own suit, the coat, the tie, the pants, the hat, the socks, the shoes…everything.” He proceeds to school the guys on how to size and select attire that would make any pimp jealous. This impresses Sergio, and Tommy laughs “Not bad for an old guy, huh? I’m not just a pretty face.” Everybody is happy with their selections, and even Ishe is feeling like a man as he walks out of the store with his new threads.
Taking on the King
Back at the training gym Ahmed is in the ring sparring with Sugar Ray, the King. Ahmed gets carried away and starts taking strong jabs at the six time world champion including hitting him in the face. This caught the eye of several of the others who thought it was a sign of disrespect. Sugar Ray said “Was it disrespectful? I don’t know, maybe, but I wasn’t hitting him back, we’ll see if he can hit like that when somebody else is in the ring throwing punches his way.”
Ahmed is getting real cocky as he talks about how good he is. “Hey Joey, I’m fighting next right?”
Joey expresses what is on all the other boxer’s minds, “Those two have been going at it since day 1. I’m surprised they haven’t been in the ring by now, hell if I were Ishe I would have insisted on it. It is time that these two get this over with and fight.”