Grady Brewer wins 'Contender 2' in a split decision over Steve Forbes
By Reality TV World staff, 09/27/2006
Grady Brewer has won The Contender's second season tournament, upsetting Steve Forbes in a ten round, split decision finale bout broadcast live on ESPN from the Los Angeles Staples Center on Tuesday night.
As The Contender 2's champion, Brewer wins the season's $500,000 grand prize (half the $1,000,000 amount that Sergio Mora, the champion of the show's inaugural NBC season, won), a new 2007 Toyota Tundra truck, and an appearance on the cover of Ring magazine. Two of the fight's three judges had scored the match in Brewer's favor via 97-93 and 96-94 scores. The third judge had also scored the fight 96-94, but in Forbes' favor.
Brewer, a 35-year-old Lawton, Oklahoma journeyman fighter who works fulltime at a Goodyear tire factory, had been considered an underdog against Forbes, a 29-year-old former IBF super featherweight champion and natural junior lightweight who had gained weight to compete in The Contender 2's welterweight weight class.
With the win, Brewer's record now stands at 22-11 with 12 knockouts. Forbes' record dropped to 32-4 with 9 knockouts.
After the fight, Brewer -- who, in order to better provide for his wife and four children, had frequently taken many of his previous fights on short notice -- thanked The Contender's producers (who pay the show's boxers a weekly training stipend) for giving him the opportunity to show that he could do more than serve as "professional opponent" padding for the records of up-and-coming young fighters.
"This is what I was trained to do, when I finally got an opportunity to do this," Brewer told ESPN interviewer Brian Kenny after The Contender host Sugar Ray Leonard presented him with his new championship belt. "This is what I came up with when I got an opportunity to train and I just thank god for the opportunity, my job, everyone back at Goodyear, my mom and dad, my friends and family for supporting me, I just love everybody, thank you. I just want to establish myself in boxing because I never had the opportunity... I thank The Contender and the cast for giving me the opportunity, for giving me a spotlight."
Forbes was gracious in defeat, embracing Brewer after the decision was announced. "He fought a perfect game plan, Forbes told Kenny in his own post-fight interview. "Of course I felt like I won the fought but hey, everyone is entitled to their opinion and he fought a hell of a fight."
Earlier in the finale, Cornelius "K9" Bundrage defeated Norberto Bravo in the season's third place "bronze medal" bout. After dominating the fight's early rounds, Bundrage scored a technical knockout when the referee stopped the fight with 2:22 remaining in the seventh round of the ten round bout.