Fan favorite Jimmy Lange from season one of The Contender is taking his first step toward a major world title this Saturday, Dec. 9th, as he fights Fontaine Cabell for the currently vacant WBC Continental Americas Super Welterweight (154 pound) title belt. This will be Lange’s fourth time headlining a professional boxing card at the George Mason University Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va. Over his last three fights, he’s averaged an impressive 5,000 fans in attendance. (Photo by Chris Nicholson: Contender Season I Fan Favorite Jimmy Lange (left) takes on Fontaine Cabell for the WBC Continental Americas super welterweight title on Saturday, Dec. 9th.)
Professional boxers, turned reality TV stars, turned back to professional boxers, Jimmy Lange and Anthony Bonsante have much in common. They both built up a national following on the first season of The Contender on NBC. They both were “cast” as the diehard family men that they are in real life. They both were brought back for lucrative fan-favorite bouts. And they both soon found out, after the season wrapped, that reality can be much more brutal than reality TV. Lange went on to suffer a third-round TKO in front of a hometown crowd in his rematch against Contender rival Joey Gilbert last February, and Bonsante suffered a similar fate against Allan Green on ESPN in July.
Photo: Renowned boxing trainer and mentor Tommy Gallagher (left) joins boxing legend Angelo Dundee at the post-fight press conference in Fairfax, Va., following dual wins by The Contender Season I alumni Jimmy Lange and Anthony Bonsante. (Photo by Christopher P. Nicholson)
In the Contender 2 Finale, the bronze metal bout pits together Norberto Bravo and Cornelius “K9″ Bundrage. Before the fight, Storm Large from Rock Star Supernova sings the national anthem. In round one, very few punches are landed, but K9 lands the majority of them. In round two, K9 scores a knockdown on Bravo. In rounds three, four and five, K9 continues to control the fight. In round six, K9 loses a point for shoving. In round seven, the referee stops the fight. The winner by knockout is Cornelius “K9″ Bundrage.
Promoter Joe DeGuardia proudly announces that Joey Gilbert, former season one "Contender" star and world-ranked middleweight boxer, has signed a promotional agreement to fight under the proud Star Boxing Banner. "Joey Gilbert is a rising star in boxing and we at Star Boxing are thrilled to have him on our team," said an excited DeGuardia.
Jackie Kallen of The Contender is flanked by first season fan favorite Jimmy Lange (to her right), Lange’s opponent Tommy Wilt (to her left), and other fighters on the Oct. 7th fight card in Fairfax, Virginia. (By Christopher P. Nicholson)
During last season’s debut of The Contender, “First Lady of Boxing” Jackie Kallen was known as much for her sharply unabashed insight as for her exceedingly camera-friendly presence. Not surprisingly, every eye in Champps Sports Bar in Fairfax, Va., was affixed to her when she took the microphone to promote the October 7th fight night at the George Mason University Patriot Center featuring, in separate bouts, Contender I favorites Jimmy Lange and Anthony Bonsante.
Sugar Ray Leonard congratulates the remaining boxers on reaching the final four and shows them a tribute to the boxers they have fought and defeated. Sugar Ray tells the final four that they will all be receiving Polaroid plasma TVs. In a Contender double header, Steve Forbes fights Cornelius “K9″ Bundrage and Norberto Bravo fights Grady Brewer.
Sugar Ray Leonard invites the remaining boxers over to see his house. Sugar Ray lectures the boxers on keeping a winning attitude in their heads. In a Contender double header, Grady Brewer fights Michael Stewart and Norberto Bravo fights Gary Balletto.
For his reward for winning the fight, Sugar Ray Leonard gives Steve Forbes a large gold charm and a DVD player. Sugar Ray Leonard also gives Steve Forbes DVD recordings of his two fights so he can study them to improve. For the second fight of the second round of The Contender, Walter Wright boxes against Cornelius “K9″ Bundrage.
After The Contender’s first doubleheader, Sugar Ray Leonard congratulates Nick Acevedo and Steve Forbes for winning their fights and presents them with a boxing glove gold necklace as a reward. Sugar Ray Leonard also takes all the boxers shopping and lets them pick out new suits.
Sugar Ray Leonard points out that Ebo Elder was winning the last fight until he lost concentration. Sugar Ray lectures the boxers to show the world their talent. Since the blue team has the right to pick the fight, Freddy Curiel from the blue teams select to fight Steve Forbes. Because there are only two boxers left, Nick Acevedo and Jeff Fraza are also paired up to fight in a double header.