The episode starts with both teams standing in a boxing ring. Sugar Ray gives his best motivational speech and informs the guys that Henry Buchanan had to leave the show due to personal issues. Buddy McGirt gets to pick one of the rejects to replace him. What a deal. Miguel Hernandez is brought back.
The fighters will be ranked upon their performance in the first round fights. Apparently that will determine some sort of rank and file amongst the fighters. Maybe even some cookies or a juicy reward for the top cat.
Everyone seems stoked about the house. David Banks is full of himself and doesn’t do dishes. He must have already forgotten he was the very last pick to make the tournament. Jaidon Codrington announces no one is to sleep in his bed except for himself. Is that something he really needs to announce? Am I to assume there aren’t enough beds for everyone to have one? Miguel says he’d gladly sleep on the street for this opportunity. Maybe they don’t have enough beds.
The guys get busy in the gym while Sugar Ray watches. When the guys aren’t training they are scouting the competition. The Blue Team thinks that Miguel is the weak link but Brian Vera of the Blue Team wants Jaidon Codrington. They fought in amateurs about four years ago with Codrington getting the better of Vera.
Codrington hears of the callout and confronts Vera. Codrington goes into Vera’s room and loses his mind. He starts yelling at the guy and starts packing Vera’s bags for him, telling Vera that he’s going to send him home. That’s a nice touch. Max Alexander thinks Codrington is putting on a front with his outburst and calls him “Al Cappuccino.” Yeah, what?
A Visit from the Golden Boy
Oscar De La Hoya comes to the gym and wants to make a bet with Sugar Ray. Two of Oscar’s fighters are fighting two of Sugar Ray’s fighters at an upcoming pay-per-view. This episode was supposed to hype the event headlined by Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Rocky Juarez but that show has since been canceled. Kinda makes this whole scene moot. The loser was to walk around as a ring girl for one round but I don’t think anyone has to worry about that now.
Oscar gives a pep talk and the fighters all seem to be in awe. They do the same hunger and motivation bit. This gets old fast. Must we take everything so seriously? This show is desperate for some humor so Jaidon calls out Sugar Ray on the jump rope. Ray does some Kung-Fu stuff while Oscar shows a little more impressive work with the rope. Not quite the comic relief I had in mind.
Back to the Gym
Sam Soliman seems to be taking Miguel under his wing. He shows him some new training techniques. You can’t find a better person to train with than Sam Soliman. That dude is always in tremendous shape when he fights and throws tons of punches.
The rankings are explained in more depth. The fighters will be ranked based on their first-round performance. The top four fighters in the rankings advance to the semi-finals. That seems a little weak. With ten fighters, one first-round winner won’t advance to the next round. Sugar Ray reiterates that every round counts and the fighters need to be impressive.
The teams select who they want to fight. The teams have to pick one of their own to represent the team, without knowing who the other team is going to post. The Blue Team chooses Brian Vera while the Gold Team goes with Jaidon Codrington. How convenient. Jaidon promises to box Vera’s eyes out. That’s a new one.
The Fight: Brian Vera vs. Jaidon Codrington
Vera wants to be aggressive from the start as he thinks Jaidon has a weak chin. The families come in for more seriousness. It’s overkill really. I get the point that this is a huge opportunity for everyone. Still, you gotta believe that someone in the house is eating all the pickles or something. I’d rather find the pickle perpetrator for five minutes than more “I’m gonna win for my family” stuff.
Round 1 begins and Vera doesn’t exactly swarm Jaidon but he is pressing the action. They have some nice exchanges in the first round but this is once again edited so it’s hard to get a feel for who is winning. Vera looks hurt after a slow-motion uppercut that connected to the backdrop of a military drum beat. Pepe seems pissed in the corner so I’d say that means Vera lost the first round.
Vera attacks with more vigor to start the second round and has Codrington on the ropes although he doesn’t seem to be landing much, despite what the sound effects will lead you to believe. Codrington rocks Vera and makes him do a chicken dance before putting him down. They actually made a wind chime sound when Vera got rocked and it was pretty hilarious. Vera got up but Codrington hit him with about five clean punches that knocked him against the ropes, causing the ref to stop it. Codrington by TKO in the 2nd round.
Vera’s girlfriend cries because that what Vera says she does. Codrington gives Vera a nice sign of respect after the fight. I’m going to need Codrington to stay around for a long time if I’m to maintain any interest in this show. He’s my Shonie Carter.
The fights will be shown in their entirety at a later date. This fight will be shown in full on ESPN2 on Sept 21 at 12:30am. That’s stupid too. I want to see the unedited fights during the show, not ten days later.
David Banks antagonizes Paul Smith and Paul pretty much hates him. Max Alexander is trying to “play the game” and get a soft opponent for himself but the Gold Team knows it. Gold gets to choose the fights and it seems like they are going with Banks.