Troy Ross defeats Ehinomen Ehikamenor in the Contender Season 4 Finale
By Alex Pierpaoli
On Wednesday night, Canadian Troy Ross defeated Ehinomen “Hollywood Hino” Ehikamenor by fouth round technical knockout at Foxwoods MGM Grand to claim The Contender Season 4 Championship. Ross became the fourth champion crowned by the 11 week reality-TV-series based boxing tournament airing this season on Versus Network. Ross and Ehikamenor had emerged in the top spots after the weekly box-offs on the series brought the competitors closer and closer to the finale card at Foxwoods. Versus broadcast the Finale co-feature live from Foxwoods MGM in the first boxing event at the new MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Hollywood Hino was clearly the more relaxed fighter during the pre-fight introductions as he smiled and gestured to the crowd After a tentative but even first in which both finalists tasted each other’s power but neither guy asserted himself, things heated up at the start of round two. Ehikamenor pressed the action against the southpaw Ross as both guys fired lots of power punches but neither was able to land anything significant. Both guys were still trying to find their range and a good angle on each other in the fourth when Troy Ross connected with a huge left that sent Hino reeling back off balance and out of position. As Ross came forward swinging away with both hands, Hino, clearly stunned, ended up caught up in the ropes and facing out into the crowd with his back to Ross prompting Ref Steve Smoger to step in and halt the bout. Although it was slightly dissatisfying there was no question Ehikamenor was in trouble and he had turned his back on Ross leaving Smoger with little option but to stop the fight. The rules do say “Protect Yourself At All Times” for good reason and unfortunately for Hollywood Hino, Referee Steve Smoger saw to it they meant it. Ross now joins the ranks of Sergio Mora, Grady Brewer and Sakio Bika as The Contender Champion and he hopes to move on to brighter things in the recently rejuvenated cruiserweight class. Ehikamenor looks to regroup at 15-4 (7) while Ross improves to 21-1 (14).
In the co-feature, Rico Hoye used his greater size and reach in defeating Akinymei “AK47” Laleye by unanimous eight round decision. The brash and always-talking Laleye exploded into action in round one. Fighting in close to Hoye, Laleye was able to blunt Hoye’s reach advantage, crowding him and landing chopping shots to the head and body with both hands. Round one was a near-perfect display of in-fighting by Laleye but it only took until half way into the second for Hoye to make the necessary adjustments and take control of the rounds. Working behind a hard jab, Hoye rarely hurt Laleye but his strength was evident as he often knocked Laleye off balance even when landing on the gloves, forearms or shoulders. As the fight wore on Laleye settled for success only in small sporadic bursts as Hoye controlled the action with clubbing punches and a high work rate. In the fifth Ref. Arthur Mercante deducted a point from Laleye for holding, which put Laleye only further behind on the scorecards. After teight all three judges had the fight 79-72 in Hoye’s favor pushing him to 23-3 (15) and dropping Laleye to 12-3 (5).
In the first bout of the night Alfredo Escalera stopped Erick Vega by TKO at 2:50 of round number six to move to 17-2-1 (12). Escalera thudded away with both hands against the head and torso of Vega causing Ref. Johnny Callas to work his way between the fighters and stop the bout. The stoppage came just as Foxwoods’ ringside physician had made his way onto the ring apron. Vega drops to 8-4-1 (6) with the loss.
One of two bouts on the card with local significance pitted Richard Gingras of Concord, MA against southpaw Ryan Coyne of St Charles, MO. Despite overwhelming support from the crowd and his own spirited effort, Gingras dropped a lopsided 6 round unanimous decision. Coyne remains undefeated, advancing to 10-0 (2) while the rugged Gingras falls to 9-3 (5).
Local favorite and the oldest Contender cast member, forty-one year old Tim Flamos, of Brockton, MA was stopped at 1:57 of round 3 by Felix Cora Jr of Galveston, TX. Cora improves to 20-3-2 (10) with the kayo and Flamos soldiers on in defeat at 20-6-1 (8).
Luminaries at ringside: Contender Season 1-3 Winners: Sergio Mora, Grady Brewer, Sakio Bika, respectively; Boxing Legend Sugar Ray Leonard, TV personality & Host Tony Danza, former Middleweight Great Tony DeMarco, and current Light Heavyweight Champ Bad Chad Dawson
Send comments or questions to Alex Pierpaoli at: KOFantasyBoxing@gmail.com