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Sixteen boxers strive to be the next boxing superstar, as they try to harness their emotional backgrounds into a lesson in the sweet science.

Recaps by Chico Alexander, GSNN

Sylvester Stallone & Sugar Ray Leonard
Den Mother: Jackie Kallan
Head Trainer: Tommy Gallagher
Ring Announcer: Jeff Connor
Creators: Mark Burnett, Jeffrey Katzenberg
EP: Mark Burnett, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Sylvester Stallone
Packager: Mark Burnett Productions, Dreamworks SKG, Rogue Productions
Sundays at 8pm ET on NBC

Copyright Statement

No infringement of copyright is intended by these fan pages; production companies of shows this site covers retain all rights to the sounds, images, and information contained herein. No challenge to copyright is implied. 

Web design by Jason Elliott. Logo by Chico Alexander. 

"Rivals" - March 13

Last time, Ishe managed to catch foot-in-mouth disease, while the West called out Jonathan Reid to fight their ringer Jesse Brinkley. The battle was fierce, but in the end, it went to Jesse. He thought Jonathan was a worthy opponent, and is glad that Ishe didn't fight after all. Ishe's refusal to fight gave him the chance to fight Reid.

Meanwhile, Ishe confesses he would have preferred to see Jesse go home, even though they're both members of West Side. Such is the nature of fortune, I guess.

After the bout, Jesse, his girlfriend Colleen, and their children head home to celebrate with... a sandwich. While he eats, Colleen brings up Ishe in the course of what the show means to them. "Now they know you're not afraid to step up," she muses. Jesse just says that he's happy with the outcome. Still on Ishe, Colleen wonders who he'll fight next. "I don't know, but he needs more confidence."

The next day, we're in the gym as training commences. "Babyface" Ahmed doesn't waste any time talking the junk about his rival Ishe. "He didn't show he was a man." He watches the fighters spar from the second floor and comments, "Let's get it over."

Alfonso, who if you remember was the first to fight and the first to win, just says, "I guess time will tell."

Tarick gently cautions Ahmed from boasting he's the best. Tarick understands Ahmed's thinking because they're both Lebanese men. In his culture, he says, "You back down, you'll never hear the end of it." He knows Ahmed will not let the matter between him and Ishe go until it's settled, one way or another. I smell fight card!

Meanwhile, Sly breaks up the fights (pun intended) to award the security blanket... the golden glove. He awards it to Jesse, placing him alongside Alfonso in The Elite Eight. The eight winners of the first eight bouts will not have to fight again until they are the only ones in the ring. Additionally, Jesse's victory over East Class earns West Class a reward. Tommy brings the boxers outside where a Hummer limo takes them away to a swank men's boutique. The reward: a new suit with all the trimmings - shoes, tie, dress shirt, pocket square, even socks!

To which Ishe says, "I've never had a suit in my life."

Tommy squares his jaw and offers his assistance. When some of the boxers admit they don't even know their size, Tommy takes their wrapping a tie around their fists. No doubt this is a method of haberdashery taught to only the very finest East Coast boxing trainers. And as soon as I find one, I'll ask.

Tommy goes further as to suggest that Sergio is a 44 long. Obviously Sergio is not a 44 long. But still, an experience that Tommy will not forget: "Don't want to get corny, but it was real emotional." Stuff to remember the next time you're at the Men's Wearhouse.

Back at the warehouse, it's the dream bout that no one thought possible! Babyface Ahmed versus Sugar Ray! And the result? Ray is crying? Naah... "He became...a little aggressive," Sugar Ray confesses. Juan pegged Ahmed as "trying to show off," "stupid," and "not showing any respect" for Sugar Ray. And what does Ahmed have to say about this? "I played him. I made him look bad. That's the best. If I can win against a six-time world champion, I can win against anyone."

And after all this, he calls out Joey and says, "I'm fighting you next!" Way to win friends and influence people, Ahmed. Meanwhile, Joey tells another boxer at ringside that he'll speak up and tell Ishe that the only way Ishe is going to fight is to fight Ahmed. "Politics is a bitch."

And speaking of which, Ishe is at home with wife Latoya and his son. Ishe is a little worse for wear as Latoya senses something amiss. Ishe admits to her that he felt ready to throw in the towel. "It's just hard," he whines. "I'm in strategy mode. And I'm just tired."

Latoya does what she can to reassure her husband. "I'm going to love my husband through everything. Cause that's what being a team and being a family is all about. I would rather have him cry with me than have nobody to talk to."

Ishe returns to the gym and gathers his teammates from the West for a meeting. First, he apologizes for his early behavior. Then he promises that he will fight Ahmed. Alfonso approves of the way Ishe handles himself as a leader in the meeting. "He was like a new man."

And the new man and his new squad takes on the East in this week's challenge: DODGEBALL! We're playing a variant of Cronin rules: you're out if you get hit, get caught on, cross over the midline or go out of bounds. Players can regen a teammate if the ball lands inside a garbage can on the opponent's side.

The first few minutes of play pass quickly as Sergio (West), Najai (East) and Tarick (West) are eliminated. Jesse taunts Najai: "We're getting a spanky from Spanky!"

But like Tobias "Stretch" McKinney and Michael "Handsome" Costanza before him, Joey Gilbert starts putting down the East Coast like no one's business.

In the end, it's all Gilbert as he, Anthony, and Ishe take on Babyface for the Extreme Dodgeball Season 3 title. Ahmed gives Team West his best Babyface smirks, taunts, and dances. 

Then a dance into the fire. Anthony nails the Babyface, and the Babyface is crying. Sugar RAy makes it official as Ahmed, in typical Ahmed fashion, tries to off Anthony.

Going to the locker room, we have a decision in relatively quick time. Ishe just says, "I told you what I'm going to do."

Time to toe the line. Ishe calls out... Brent Cooper?! WHA?! Then in a move plucked by Ryan Seacrest, he sends him back to safety and calls out Ahmed, who wastes no time coming to the line and going toe-to-toe and eye-to-eye with Ishe. Just as Sly notices that some fists may go flying a bit early. "If you fire here, you're disqualified," he shouts.

So it's just a tongue lashing today. "You look good, baby," Kaddour says. "I hope you look that good tomorrow." Some of the crew take both fighters off the line as Ishe just says, "Talk is over."

That night, Ahmed and girlfriend Brandy have dinner in a posh LA bistro for celebrating his fight. Brandy calls Ahmed the "sweetest guy...on the outside" and warns him that "If we're going to get married, you better win."

Meanwhile, Ishe and Latoya are bathing their son. Ishe seems noticeably more relaxed now that the die is cast.

The next day, Ishe gets his head into the fight, preparing to pop the zit that is Ahmed. "He's been a cancer in my side ever since I've been here." His son just says, "Be careful."

In a move straight out of a) a kung fu movie, b) a schmaltzy Coke commercial, or c) my own sad life, Ishe says... "I will."  His strategy is to break Ahmed mentally, while his opponent boasts, "I'm the best fighter here."

Now to the weigh-in!

26 Age 23
5'10" Ht 6'1"
154 Wt 154
14-0, KO 7 Rec 18-0, KO 9

Tonight's Main Event: Smith vs. Kaddour

Your ring announcer tonight is Jeff Connor. The card is set, the gloves have been touched. Now.... llllllllllllLET'S GET READY TO RUM-BLLLLLLLLLE! (Wolvie-style disclaimer: obviously, because this is pretaped television, some of what goes on is edited. What follows is a televised-move-by-televised-move account).

And now, the Main... Hey, is that William Shatner? Anywho, time for the Main Event... Ishe Smith versus Ahmed Kaddour... Let's get it on!
When the referee brings Ishe and Ahmed to the center of the ring to touch gloves, they refuse to look at one another. Someone even tries to force Ishe's head down so that he'll meet Ahmed's eyes.

Round 1: Ahmed comes out early - and angry. But that anger seems to work against Kaddour. He throws a lot of indiscriminate punches, and none of them seems to deliver any big hurt. Smith comes off the ropes like Kaddour wasn't even punching and changes places with Kaddour, doing the same thing to the boxer from the East. Smith's body blows are good, solid haymakers, and every once in a while, he sneaks upstairs with an uppercut that Kaddour knows has done some damage.

Round 2: Ahmed goes for Ishe but makes the mistake of ducking his head. Ishe lands a solid head shot and follows up with a series of left-left-big-rights that seem to frustrate Ahmed. Ishe takes the opportunity to land an uppercut and right hook that has Jimmy Caan wincing in the audience.

Round 3: "Babyface" says it's time to throw down. The boxer from the East picking up and tossing Ishe. The referee intervenes. He wrestles Smith to his knees to the dismay of the crowd, especially Smith's wife, Latoya. When the referee is forced to intervene again, Kaddour walks off and makes a rude gesture to Smith's corner.

Round 4: Babyface is back in the hunt, as he has Smith on the ropes, raining blow after blow down on the big fighter from the West. Kaddour is up to his old tricks: When the referee gets between Kaddour and Smith, Kaddour throws a cheap shot.

Round 5: It's all Ishe Smith, y'all. Ahmed Kaddour doesn't seem to throw a single punch that gives a damn, because here comes the Ishe train, WOO WOOO! Blow after punishing blow, hunting for Kaddour around the ring, up against the ropes. Smith's body blows and head shots are relentless, and the big fighter from the West is unforgiving.

In the end, the judges rule... for Ishe Smith! Celebration in the ring as he feels great to be the man who sent Babyface crying.

Ahmed shuffles off to the locker room, alone. His girlfriend, Brandy, is nowhere to be seen. "I'm still the man," he insists.

He studies his face in the mirror after showering and notes that he doesn't have a scratch on his face. "I still look good," says Babyface, hanging up his gloves and leaving Contender Gym for good.

Next time, two tragic ends, one more so than the other.

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