Sergio Mora wins The Contender.
The final two fighters left on NBC’s The Contender faced off live at Caesar’s Palace, and Sergio Mora beat Peter Manfredo after a unanimous decision (69-64, 68-65, 70-63), keeping his undefeated record intact. With his million dollar prize, “The Latin Snake,” who reads Oscar Wilde, Nietzsche, Sun Tzu, pledged that his 60-year-old mother wouldn’t have to work again. He also won a Toyota Tundra; after his win, he acknowledged Najai and apologized for trash talking to Manfredo’s corner. For his part, Manfredo receives $250,000.
They fought in front of a star-studded, sold-out audience; even Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz emerged from seclusion to watch the fight. First, Alfonso and Jesse faced off for the Battle of the Bronze; Alfonso beat Jesse, even though Jesse was the favorite. He won $200,000. Earlier in the day, the fan favorite bouts aired online (where they’re still viewable), and Jeff Frazer beat Brent Cooper, Ishe Smith defeated Anthony Bonsante, and Jimmy Lange beat Tarick Salmaci.
Both fights were shown in their entirety, and suddenly, the value of editing and post-production became clear: boxing is significantly less dramatic without fake sound effects, slow motion, and cuts to family members at just the right moments. To compensate, the two most inarticulate men on television, Sly Stallone and Sugar Ray Leonard, offered color commentary. (By the way, their hosts’ autographed desks are now available on eBay.)