This episode begins with a recap of Grady’s win over Vinroy and discussion about the cut he got when Vinroy head-butted him. He has to get 6 stitches and K9 tells us that people will be looking to hit him there in the next round. Grady returns to the loft and the blue team has a discussion about having control of choosing the next fight.
The bracket wall is flashed by and we quickly see Grady’s name put in to fight number 11. If you blinked, you missed it! No fanfare with this choice. No Sugar Ray telling him how impressed he was this time.
The gold team brings out the original list of the fight pairings, you know, the ones Michael Clark came up with on the first day. They say, so far, the pairings have been followed, so Michael Stewart should be fighting Steve Forbes next. Over on the blue team, Nick tells the guys he’s ready and wants to fight next, but Freddy also is ready and wants to go.
Willie McGinest, formerly of the New England Patriots, but now on the Cleveland Browns, shows up to give the blue team their reward. Jeff is from Bahstahn and drools a little bit over seeing the guy. Grady and his teammates get new watches. Tommy makes sure they know they cost $2500. Walter tells us it was hard for them to sit there and watch the blue team get a reward. Well Walter, last time, they had to watch you, plus you were all cocky at the time, which made it worse, don’t you think?
Next up, the guys get back to training. Freddy tells us how Steve is an IBF champ and his record is 23 – 3 with 9 KOs. The focus is now on Michael Stewart. What will he do? Back up in the loft, Ebo, Jeff and Steve, the three gold team members who have yet to fight, discuss how they are all ready to go, no matter what the blue team decides. They are actually anxious to get it over with. On the blue team, Michael Stewart, Freddy and Nick are the three who are left. Who’s it going to be?
The teams line up on the apron. Blue team has control and Michael Stewart steps forward and toes the line. They say Stewart is one of the veterans here with 44 fights under his belt. He calls out Ebo Elder, who toes the line. Sugar Ray asks Stewart why he chose Ebo and he says, “If I’m going to lose, he’s the best one to lose to.”
Ebo goes to visit his family. He’s known his wife since first grade and they have 2 beautiful girls. He tells Amy that he’s going to fight Stewart and Amy’s a bit upset because she is friends with Lisa, Michael’s wife. Ebo tells us about how he would like to bring his Christian message into the world of boxing. He wants to spread His word among the fighters because boxing has lost a lot of that. Michael then visits with his family. He also has 2 little girls and his wife, Lisa, also wonders why he has to fight Ebo because of her friendship with Amy. The kids are all friends too.
Back in the loft, Michael and Ebo have breakfast together. They are friends. Michael tells us Ebo is a decent guy and a good man. Ebo tells us they have spent time together and prayed.
Next we see them in their locker rooms. Their families visit and the trainers get them ready. Tommy will be in Ebo’s corner and Jeremy in Michael’s. Both guys have a bunch of confessionals and we switch back and forth between the two. The announcer introduces the fighters and tells us that Ebo has a record of 22 – 2 with 14 KOs and Stewart has a record of 38 – 4 with 22 KOs.
On to the fight! In round 1, Ebo gets in the first several shots. Jeremy tells Michael to “use the right”, but the few shots he gets in are with his left hand, or at least that’s how it looked to me. Could it be that the film was reversed? Ebo gets in several more shots and even gets Michael on the ropes! Ebo has definitely dominated the round. In round 2, Ebo remains in control with his sheer quantity of hits. Michael gets in a few body shots, but again the round belongs to Ebo. In round 3, Ebo is punching almost constantly from what we’re shown. He gets Michael against the ropes again! 3 rounds done and it is all Ebo. On to round 4 and Ebo is doing good… until… we get some slow motion action and dramatic music. Michael gets in one good punch and Ebo stumbles. He comes back with more, but Michael gets in a few more body shots, then he throws another hard left (…or was that supposed to be a right?) and Ebo goes down! The ref counts to 9 when Ebo gets to his feet again, but he’s stumbling and the ref calls the fight! Stewart wins by way of knockout!
After the fight, Ebo returns to his locker room, and reminds us that Michael is a good friend and also tells us his message was not lost if he reached one person, one family. His family visits him again. The doctor comes in and tells him he wants him to have a CAT scan. Over in Stewart’s locker room, he tells us he feels bad because he was attached to Ebo. He will be praying for him and his family to not be hurt. Yo, Mike! Why’d you call him out then?
We end the episode, not with the usual hanging of the gloves, but instead with Ebo leaving the gym in an ambulance.
Next week: There are 4 fighters left. Freddy is supposed to fight Steve and Jeff should be paired with Nick, but will they stick with the plan? Freddy doesn’t want Steve. Also, for the first time on the Contender, we will have a doubleheader!