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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

NBC's The Contender

--posted by Tony Garcia on 5/10/2005

This last Sunday I was invited to go watch the latest episode of The Contender at the Turtle Bar and Grill in Shakopee, MN. Shakopee is the home of Anthony Bonsante, professional boxer and contestant on the show.

The fight was a big deal, as Bonsante and Jesse [Brinkley?] were fighting to be in the final four for a chance at a million dollars.

Bonsante clearly won the first two rounds, but Jesse seemed completely unfazed. Jesse came back and won the third round with an intense series punchs that semed to effect Bonsante. However, Bonsante came right back and won the fourth round.

At this point, while in the corner, Bonsante's guys told him he needed to "Get out there and fight."

Huge mistake, Bonsante was up two rounds, all ne needed to do was fight from the outside for three minutes and take the match. While we were at the Turtle's, Bonsante (who was hosting the event) blamed his corner, saying that if he had had his guys in the corner, they would have told him the situation.

Okay, maybe.

The round starts up, and Bonsante, an emotional fighter, starts trying to put Jesse away. However, Anthony starts to get sloppy, starts reaching and extending himself, and Jesse lands two upper cuts that force the doctor at ringside to stop the fight. Bonsante had lost his chance at a million dollars for getting excited, emotional, and sloppy.

Bonsante is 34 years old, has thirty professional boxing matches, including a prime time match in 2004 against fellow contestant Peter Manfredo that went 12 rounds. He has been boxing for 24 years of his life. He should have known the situation.

Later that night I was able to see a Muhammed Ali fight on ESPN Classic. Ali always fought from the outside, rarely got hit, and obviously did very well in his career. Bonsante, who at 34 is running out of time, needs to learn to settle down more.

He still has a shot at 200,000 dollars in the fan favorite fights, which can be voted on at the NBC website:




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