Brandon Adams is “The Contender” Champion

By Caryn A. Tate on November 10, 2018
Brandon Adams is “The Contender” Champion
Brandon Adams has wowed audiences with his stellar, well-rounded performances.

It was a phenomenal performance by Adams, who earned every bit of the recognition and future successes he’ll no doubt have…

Season five of The Contender has been a fantastic ride, with it all leading to tonight’s finale and co-main, which were streamed live on the show’s Twitter page.

The finalists, Brandon Adams (21-2, 13 KOs) and Shane Mosley Jr. (13-3, 8 KOs) faced each other for The Contender title and the $250,000 tournament prize. In addition, the winner was promised a top 10 ranking in the middleweight division. The card took place at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

Adams, who was unfairly put on the shelf for three years prior to taking part in The Contender, has wowed audiences with his stellar, well-rounded performances. He’s the type of boxer who has a tendency to make things look easy. Mosley, who has been consistently underestimated, fought some of the best combatants in the tournament to get to the final—and did so by showing his grit and ability, proving he belonged.

The first round saw the two fighters feeling each other out quite a bit, with perhaps a few more punches landed for Mosley, but it was an extremely close round. Towards the end of it, though, Adams seemed to start finding Mosley a bit more than he had earlier. It seemed that he may have figured Shane out.

As the rounds progressed, Adams just seemed to get more and more comfortable. His constant movement perhaps threw Mosley for a loop—even when it didn’t look at first glance like Adams was moving, when one looked closer, he was always doing something. His feints were expertly executed and his footwork was a thing of beauty. Brandon was always giving Mosley a different look, something else to deal with.

Six was a big round for Adams. Mosley started off well with a good left hook that surprised Adams; but before long, Brandon’s activity and accuracy were too much, and he landed a ton of clean shots on Shane. There were a few moments when it looked like the fight might end or need to be stopped, both in the sixth and the seventh. During that time a big cut opened up over Mosley’s eye.

As commentators Barry Tompkins and Andre Ward pointed out, Mosley’s body language had begun to look troubling. He didn’t seem to have an answer for Adams. Again, I suspect a major factor for Mosley was Adams’ constant and varied movement and timing, which made Brandon an extremely difficult target to hit. Add to that the fact that Mosley had been taking quite a few punches himself.

But Mosley Jr. showed a ton of heart tonight. He could have found a way out, but it never appeared to me that the thought went through his head. He had to know he was losing by a wide margin, but he kept trying to find a way, even if it was just a punch at a time.

The scorecards read 99-91 and 100-90 twice for Brandon Adams. It was a phenomenal performance by Adams, who earned every bit of the recognition and future successes he’ll no doubt have. While Mosley didn’t have the night we’d hoped, I hope we see a lot more of both fighters in the coming years.

In the co-main event, Eric Walker (18-2, 8 KOs) and Michael Moore (17-3, 7 KOs) squared off in an eight-rounder. Co-commentator Andre Ward, who also hosted the season of the show, mentioned early on in the bout that Walker had been like a big brother to Moore during the filming of the season, and he wondered if that might play into the fight. It did appear that could be the case, since Moore, who is usually a come-forward, pressure fighter, never seemed to get started and had difficulty letting his hands go.

From the beginning, Walker’s movement and footwork troubled Moore. The 35-year-old Walker put on a boxing clinic, consistently working from angles and letting his hands go as he utilized his athleticism and footwork to box constantly. One of the more impressive things he did throughout the course of the fight was rip shots to Moore’s body. Several of them clearly hurt Moore, and it was obvious he began to fade as the rounds progressed.

Moore kept trying and had occasional success and landed a few good shots, but he was only throwing one punch at a time. Against a volume fighter like Walker, one punch just wasn’t enough.

In the end, the official scorecards were 80-73 and 80-72 twice for Walker.

All of the fighters who took part in season 5 of The Contender are good enough that they deserve to get their shots at the top middleweights within the next few years. But the finalists and co-finalists, particularly the winners of both bouts, will give even the world champions in the division a lot of trouble.

Check out more of Caryn’s work at and follow her on Twitter@carynatate

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  1. ukjgytre 12:38pm, 11/11/2018

    what about the rest of the undercard?

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