We recap with scenes of all 16 boxers this season, then we are reminded who made it into the Elite 8 and finally, where we are now with the Final 4. The spots are filled by Steve “2 Pounds” Forbes, Cornelius “K9” Bundrage, Grady “Bad Boy” Brewer and Norberto “Nito El Gallito” Bravo. Forbes will face K9 in the first fight of this double header, followed by the match up between Brewer and Bravo. By this time, we’ve all got to know these 4 pretty well, so they don’t waste a lot of time on their back stories anymore. We are told the winners of these two fights will fight live in the Staples Center next week, on September 26th for half a million dollars! Boy this will make a huge difference in one of these guys’ lives!
Forbes and K9 are hanging out playing pool with Jeremy back in the loft when Brewer and Bravo return form their previous double header fights. Forbes tells Tommy he’s really excited about this next match and tells us he’s got one more fight to get to his big chance! The applause for Brewer and Bravo’s return is markedly quiet, since the loft has been cleared of many fighters from this tournament. They talk about Bravo’s win over Gary and we are already off to commercials… only 3 minutes in!
Forbes is training with Tommy and getting ready. They discuss K9’s style. Steve tells us the style is a little physical and a little dirty. Meanwhile, K9 is getting ready with Jeremy and he tells us he’s going to be a dog in the ring! Grady is shown with Tommy, who tells him all he needs is the jab, the right and the left hook. Grady talks about what a big opportunity this is for him. Over to Bravo with Jeremy, who tells us he’s going to put the pressure on Grady. Grady, K9 and Steve give us their final thoughts, which for all of them are pretty much to focus and win!
Sugar Ray has all the guys seated on the sofa in the bracket wall room. They are in front of a Polaroid flat screen where they will be shown a tribute to all the guys who have already gone home. We see short scenes from each of them in the order they were eliminated: Michael Clark, Rudy Cisneros, Aaron Torres, Andre Eason, Vinroy Barret, Ebo Elder, Jeff Fraza, Freddy Curiel, Nick Acevedo, Walter Wright, Michael Stewart and Gary Balletto. The four boxers who are left provide a few statements about some of their previous competition. After the tribute is over, Sugar Ray informs the guys that each of them will be taking home one of these Polaroid flat screens! Boy, they’ve earned some nice bling during this season.
…and finally, we’re off to fight number 1! K9 vs. Forbes. They are shown getting ready in their respective locker rooms. We flash to the crowd entering the arena and are flashed with a buttload of Coors Light on ice. WTF? Way to plug the sponsor. Pffft! Before the fight begins, all of the previously eliminated boxers return to watch! At least I think they were all there. The scene went by rather quickly for me to do a head count.
The bell rings for round 1. They are both getting in a few jabs, then K9 ties up Forbes arms and gets in a few hits. The ref breaks it up. K9 gets in a few combos. I guess K9 won that round because Forbes couldn’t land any punches with his arms tied up. In round 2, K9 ties him up again and is hitting Forbes in the back of his head. They get broken up again and K9 gets warned by the ref. Steve gets in several shots and take this round, but at the end, K9 gets Steve in a headlock. WTF? No warning for that because the bell rings, but between rounds the ref does come over to his corner and tells him to knock it off. In round 3, Steve gets K9 against the ropes. K9 locks up his arms and is warned again. Steve lands a few shots before the round is over, though I’d give this one to K9. Round 4 begins with K9 landing a few, then Steve landing a few. K9 again locks up Steve’s arms, but finally Steve is able to stay out of that and is doing well with getting his shots in. Steve definitely has this round. In round 5, Steve finally comes alive! He begins punishing K9 and they end this fight in a barrage of flailing fists! Steve lands more than K9 and takes this round. So I score this fight 48 – 47 for Steve. Let’s see what the judges say… 2 of them score the match at 49 – 46 and the other agrees with me and scores it 48 – 47 for Forbes! … but hey, remember, I didn’t see the whole fight, plus I’m no expert.
K9 goes back to his locker room and his fiancé and son come in. She is very proud of what he’s done in this tournament, as she should be. Don’t forget, he was the one who was picked last in the first episode when the guys were split into two teams. He was underestimated and was quite an underdog with his unconventional style. Both Michael Clark and Walter Wright thought he was no match for them and he came pretty close here too, but Forbes was just a tad too much. K9 tells us he did well and this is God’s way. He has a bright future. He hangs his gloves, then barks and leaves the gym.
On to fight 2! Grady and Norberto are in their locker rooms. This is tough! I love both of these guys! Why can’t they both win? Steve is introduced to the crowd and joins the others in the audience. He is already showered and dressed. They must’ve had a long intermission where all the people got to drink the rest of that Coors Light!
Round 1 starts off a bit slow while they get a feel for each other. Both of them land a few punches. Grady lands a few uppercuts, but then Norberto knocks him down! We head to commercial while the count is at 7… just to build the drama. Norberto definitely took that round. In round 2, they go back and forth landing several hits each. Grady gets in a good uppercut and then lands some hard rights. Grady takes that round, but has some ground to make up after that first round knock down. In round 3, They start off a little slow again and each of them land a lot of hard hits! They are fairly evenly matched here and I can’t really decide who took this one, but I’d give the slight edge to Norberto. In round 4, Norberto gets in the first few, but then Grady takes over. Man these tow guys can fight! …and they take everything that comes to them too! So many of the hits are landed square in their faces and directly to the body. Now these are boxers! Grady takes the edge in this round though. In round 5, Grady is coming alive and Norberto is looking tired. You can always tell who wants it more in the 5th round. Grady takes this one easily. So, I have Norberto taking 2 rounds and Grady taking 3, but that knock down in the first round could make a difference. Even Sergio and Sugar Ray don’t know who won. Let’s see… the judges scores are: 47 – 47, 48 – 46 and 49 – 46 for Grady! Huh??? I think judge number 3 had way too many of those Coors Lights during intermission. Either that or he was running off for a refill during the knock down. At any rate, this was the best fight by far!
Norberto’s family jumps into the ring with him. He’s disappointed but satisfied with his performance. He says this was a tough loss, but he’ll keep going and never give up. He’s bruised and battered, but the spirit of his Mexican pride has not been broken. He hangs his gloves, the last pair on that long wall, and leaves the gym.
Next week: Live from LA! Forbes vs. Brewer in the finals!