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Final - Bika Stops Codrington To Win Contender Series

Bika's eighth-round TKO nets him 'Contender' title

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BOSTON -- If you're still looking for a fight of the year, you probably don't have to look any further.

In a grueling, non-stop action battle, Sakio Bika outlasted Jaidon Codrington, scoring a TKO at 2:18 of the eighth round to win the third-season finale of "The Contender" and the $750,000 grand prize on Tuesday night at TD Banknorth Garden.

"That was almost something out of a Rocky movie," said promoter Lou DiBella, who handles Codrington along with The Tournament of Contenders. "The kid [Codrington] is hanging his head now but he should be proud. They should both be proud. They proved everything you can prove. Both those guys proved their mettle. It was a Rocky movie. It was sick."


Semi Final - The Contender Uncut Soliman vs Bika

Bika Pounds Out Win Over Soliman

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October 30, 2007 Los Angeles, California (Contender Arena)-- By Camille Sylvain Thompson

The finals are now set for The Contender series after Sakio Bika hammered out an eight round unanimous decision over Australia’s Sam the “King” Soliman. With the victory over Soliman, Bika, who now resides in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia after immigrating from Cameroon, is set to take on Jaidon Codrington on November 6 at the TD Banknorth Garden, in Boston.

The 28-year-old banger Bika (22-3-2, 14 KO’s) controlled the action on all three judges’ scorecard to post a convincing victory. Judge Max DeLuca had it 77-75, while both Jack Reiss and Pat Russell scored the contest 78-74, all for the rangy super middleweight nicknamed “The Scorpion.”

The fight started out with Soliman (34-10, 13 KO’s) looking more precise and consistent than he had in his previous wild swinging bout against Contender Max Alexander. However, signs of his preferred unorthodox style of fighting complete with grappling and jiu-jitsu moves, seemed inevitable and began to creep their way into later rounds as desperation grew nearer, confusing the straight boxing style of Bika.

Throughout the fight, both fighters seemed intent on listening to their corners and following their commands, with both being very disciplined, regardless of style. Both boxers fired jabs at first, stepping in and out and turning with everything punch. However, Soliman’s, surprising early round precision quickly faded when blue corner trainer Pepé Correa told Bika that Soliman was fading and becoming sloppy, and that he should “jab, jab, jab!” in retaliation. Bika, for the most part, listened and Soliman began to crumble. Soliman fought back by swinging for the fences; he was quickly shot down and refocused by trainer Buddy McGirt. Soliman threw more punches as the rounds went on providing more points and a closer match for Bika-Soliman, regardless of Soliman’s drunken aim, and Biko’s consistency.

Ultimately, the Bika-Soliman fight was one of the closest fights of the season, and aside from no knockdowns, it proved to be one of the most action-packed. I must admit, as I’m sure a number of other fans might that we were surprised to see Soliman stay in there as long as he did. Bika is simply a stronger and faster fighter than he was when he lost to Soliman, via a 12 round majority decision five years ago in Australia. Bika claims he won the bout that took place a few years prior to the Contender series, but because of the local favoritism, he was robbed a victory. Not to discredit the power of Soliman, a solid well-rounded athlete, who has an exceptional chin, and a “sold ticker”.

Following the loss, Soliman spoke to his wife in the locker room about it being time and opportunity to start a family. Let’s hope that this is not the beginning of the end of a charismatic, dedicated fighter’s 15+ year career, but rather just the beginning. Seeing his strength in the ring, and determination, complete with a few between round “Woo Hoo’s!!!”, coming from the heart of a King and the voice of a genuine professional, it would be a shame to silence such a voice and unwrap such powerful “dukes”. Right now, however, the focus shifts to Codrington and Bika. Stay tuned next Tuesday at Boston Garden, for the most anticipated Contender finale to date when two power punchers go head-to-head for the $750,000 prize.

Contender Fight 5 - Sakio bika vs Donny McCrary

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These guys are throwing wild shots early and often. This pace would be tough to continue. Bika catches Donny leaning in and lands an uppercut. Sergio Mora predicts this fight will definitely end in a knockout. Bika needs to jab more and outbox Donny.

The second round starts similarly to the first. Pepe is yelling for Sakio to jab. This fight is edited but I'm not seeing many jabs. It looks like they are just trading power combos. Regardless, it looks like both guys are trying to end the fight on one punch. Buddy thinks Donny is giving the rounds away so I'm guessing that Sakio is ahead.

Donny is the aggressor to start the third as he backs Sakio up. Sakio fires off some hard counters that change all that around. Sakio is getting the crowd on his side as he builds momentum. Donny is cut over his left eye and the ref rules it is due to a punch. Sakio lands another big uppercut but Donny keeps coming forward. McCrary is showing he can take a punch.

Donny is most likely losing this fight but Sakio cannot coast given the makeup of the tournament. Donny lands a huge overhand right that wobbles Sakio and puts him on the run. Sakio tries to clinch but Donny is putting the pressure on. Sakio regains his bearings and lands a good one-two combo. Both guys look tired. Sakio lands a clubbing right and follows with an uppercut. Donny goes for a retaliatory shot but it only opens him up for more assault from Sakio.

Buddy gives Donny his best motivational speech as we head into the fifth and final round. The crowd is setting up a nice stage for the final round. Donny doesn't seem to have much left in the tank but he knows he needs a knockout to win. It's too hard to tell how many points Bika is up by. The ref is hollering for Donny to show him something, meaning he's close to stopping it. Donny flails punches while Bika swarms him. It could be stopped, no matter what the inspirational music in the background would lead you to believe. The fight ends without a knockout, although if given one more round I think Bika would have put Donny away. Sugar Ray hits the ring and raises both guys hands.

The scores come in as 49-46, 50-45, 50-45 all for Sakio Bika. That puts Bika into 2nd place and makes Wayne more nervous. Donny gets the Rocky treatment from the crowd and even gets hoisted up on Sam's shoulders while the crowd gives up the love. Donny cries but I think it's more due to being touched by the crowd and team reaction to his show of heart. He felt like he let some people down but Sugar Ray lets him know that he won the hearts of the fans.


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