A different kind of 'Contender'

Updated: October 17, 2007, 1:17 PM ET
By Dan Rafael
If it's 10 p.m. ET on Tuesday, it means it's time for "The Contender" around my house. Please, no phone calls. No text messages either. Normally, my wife, Jenn, a big fan, and I settle on the reclining couch to watch. We've done it each week since the premiere. Typically, the hour entails her asking me a million questions and offering commentary on the evening's drama while I shush her so I can hear the conversation and take notes to help me write this weekly blog on the show. But last night was different.

Instead of the series showing us more about the four remaining fighters in the tournament, more of the power rankings board, more of Blue Team trainer Pepe Correa's awesome one-liners and more of Sugar Ray Leonard telling us that "every round counts," there was a break between the end of the first round of the tournament last week and next week's start of the semifinals.

ESPN and "The Contender" folks opted to make Episode 7 its version of "a very special episode." That meant a live fight between welterweight Alfonso Gomez, the most popular participant from the first season, and rugged former world title challenger Ben Tackie.