Contender Four, Week Seven (Fight Eight)
A Battle Of Youth Against Experience

By Barbara Pinnella

The second fight of the Contender doubleheader had the youngest fighter in the tournament at 26, Ryan Coyne, going against the 41-year-old Tim Flamos. Flamos came out of retirement for this opportunity, although he had been gone for about three years from 2003 until 2006, due to fights not materializing, promotional problems, and the like.

Coyne was ready. The cut he had suffered over his left eye in training earlier on had healed, and he was full of confidence and ready to show he deserved to be there. This fight had a lot of action from both participants, and was quite entertaining to watch.

While Ryan started out by setting the pace, he would sometimes get careless, and trainer Bray warned him after the first round that if he continued to jump in and not protect himself, there would be a head butt. Sure enough, in the second round that was exactly what happened. Coyne suffered a cut over the left eye this time, and it was a pretty nasty one at that.

In the meantime, while Ryan was scoring with some shots to the head of Tim, Flamos is getting in some good body shots. While rounds three and four saw Coyne continue to attack, Tim was fighting back. Flamos had doubts that he could still fight at his age, but he was showing those in attendance that he still had it in him. He appeared to get stronger.

In the fifth and final round, Flamos laid it all out there. When I spoke with Mike Alexander earlier, even he said that Tim really let his hands go in the last round. And the crowd was certainly behind him. They were chanting his name louder by the round, and at the end he had made the crowd his own. His teammates were reacting the same way.

Then came the moment of truth. How would the judges see it? There was a split decision. 49-46, Ryan; 49-47, Tim; 49-47, for the winner, Ryan Coyne. Certainly this was a good win for the young Ryan, but the hero of the day was Tim. All of the members of the Gold Team climbed in the ring and picked him up, carrying him around and cheering him. I asked him how that made him feel.

It was a great feeling, he told me. We had a good barn, and to see them cheer for me like that and to run into the ring afterwards like they did made me feel like I did my job. It was a good fight, and thats important to me, to always fight a good fight for the fans. I felt like I won the fight because of that.

I take nothing away from Ryan; he fought a good fight. But to be honest and let a little bit of opinion slip onto the paper, I thought that Tim had won, and I said that to him.

Its what the judges see, you know what I mean? There was something they saw that we didnt see, or we saw that they didnt, who knows? I just have to go along with it now, theres nothing I can do about it.

I must have had 30 phone calls though, people calling me up and saying the same thing, that they thought I won the fight. People texting me, but it is what it is.

When you get to be my age its always in the back of your head; I hope this isnt one too many fights that I'm going to have, and its going to end the wrong way, you know, its always in the back of your mind. But for it to happen the way it did, and end the way it did, and the way the people felt about me they thought I won its always a good feeling.

As far as continuing to box, Tim says he has to wait and see. I need to find out what kind of opportunities I get because of the show, and whether or not I get picked up by the show. Time will tell if they think Im marketable. He does however, continue to go to the gym everyday. Otherwise, he told me, he gets bored.

As with Mike, Tim had watched the show and wondered what it would be like to be a part of it. Id think, Man, it must be something else to be on that show. And then to get picked to be on, and be a part of that show, see those doors, the same doors youve watched, open up as youre walking out into the arena, it was a surreal feeling.

There was one last thing that we discussed. Tim was aware of the misconception some people have about fighters. Some people get the wrong impression. They find out your a fighter and they think your violent. Im not like that. Im a pretty easy-going guy, a regular guy. All it is, its a job.

The day before his fight, Tim had called his son Steven to let him know he was fighting. His son, knowing that his father sometimes doubts himself a little bit because of his age, had a quote for him. It was, Age is no barrier. Its a limitation you put on your mind. Wiser than his years, his teenage son.

So the semi-final matches are made. Next week is Felix Cora, Jr. going up against Troy Ross. Then there will be Akinyemi AK Laleye facing Alfredo Escalera, Jr. The third week of the semi-finals give us Deon Elam against Hino Ehikhanemor. The final fight will see both winners from this week, Rico Hoye fighting Ryan Coyne.

Congratulations and good luck to all of those participating in the semi-finals. Thank you to Tim Flamos for spending a part of his day to speak with me.

Be safe and God Bless,

Viva La Raza,