Troy Ross Is Contender Season 4 Champion

By Chris Connor

In the Contender Championship: Season Four, ‘96 Canadian Olympian Troy Ross squared off against Ehinomen “Hino” Ehikhamenor for the title. As Ross entered the ring, focused and calm, Hino was all smiles as the Foxwoods crowd chanted his name.

The first round featured Ross start off with the jab as he backed Hino up with the action. Hino came back with his own jab to the body before Ross backed him up with the right jab and left hook to the body. Hino came back with a right hook to the stomach forcing Ross back. Both men tie up with Ross missing with a left uppercut. As Hino connected with right hook to the body, Ross came back with a left hook to the jaw. Hino landed a nice right hand to the jaw as Ross tied up with the Nigerian American.

The second round started off with Ross leading with the jab trying to set up the left hook. After a Hino counter right hand, both men started to brawl as they threw big left and right haymakers to the temples and jaws. Hino landed some nice body blows and caught Ross with a right hand as Ross came inside. Ross came back landed a big left cross that caused Hino to tie up with him.

In the third round, Ross seemed to land some good punches as both men were in the clinch. Hino came back with the jab, as Ross came in with a lead left hand and then landed a left right combo to the head and body. The fight became more tactical as Ross would lead with the jab and try to land the left as Hino looked for the counter right to the body.

The fourth round started out as Ross landed a right hook to the body and ducked a right hand from Hino. Ross then unloaded a huge left handed that rocked Hino and then battered Hino in the corner until Steve Smoger waved it off to protect a defenseless Hino. Ross came out with the TKO victory at 2:00 to win the Contender title and improves to 21-1 (15 KO’s) while Hino fell to12-4 (7 KO’s).

In the consolation match, the crowd was treated to a scrap between Akinyemi“AK 47” Laleye and Rico “Suave’ Hoye in an 8 round fight.

The first round featured both men tying up and trying to land body punches. The taller Hoye (6’4 to 5’11) tried to establish his size by using his jab but Laleye used good body movement to come inside and land his jab. Hoye landed a good right cross but Laleye snapped Hoye back with a counter left hook. Laleye seemingly won the round as he pressed the action and several times snapped Hoye’s head back with some big counter rights to the jaw.

In the second, Hoye used his jab to create some distance early as he pecked away. But Laleye got inside and startled to attack the body and chin of Hoye. Hoye would land the jab as Laleye would then come in and start to turn the fight into an inside banging fight. Laleye landed a nice left to the cheek of Hoye as the Hoye then came back with a nice 1-2 to the face of AK-47.

In the third, Laleye came right after Hoye and walked into a big right before landing a left hook to Hoye. Hoye tried to wear Laleye down with some good body shots that forced Laleye to tie up. Laleye would land some clean shots but Hoye seemed to match him and land an extra at the end of
the bell.

In the fourth Hoye became more focused on staying on the outside and using his reach, peppering Laleye with the jab early. As the fight went back to the inside, Hoye landed with the big right hand as Laleye tried to fight upwards. Hoye then rocked Laleye with a big right to send him into the corner and then unloaded on an 8 punch combo that forced Laleye to tie up with him.

The fifth started with Laleye bull rushing in and trying to turn the fight into a phone booth brawl. Hoye landed some nice shots to the body as Laleye tried to keep Hoye’s chest in front of him. The referee then docked Laleye one point for holding that followed up with Hoye falling into the outside ropes courtesy of a tie up. The round ended with both men brawling in tight quarters with Hoye perhaps getting a 10-8 round.

The sixth round started out with Laleye going to an early jab before going back inside trying to land some big punches. But Hoye landed a 1-2 combo that staggered Laleye back causing him to bear hug Hoye. The two men exchanged left hooks to the jaw as Laleye continued to take more power shots than he landed as Hoye ended the round with another big left hand.

The seventh featured Hoye using his each to land more punches as Laleye tried to avoid them with upper body movement. Hoye continued to pick up the pace as he uses his jab to set up the big right hand as Laleye was less active and more defensive. The round ended as Hoye continued to use his height to wear Laleye down.

In the 8th, Hoye using his reach to keep Laleye off balance with his jab and right hand. Laleye tried tying up but Hoye didn’t allow him to get a clean shot in early. Laleye tried to land a big right hand but Hoye comes back with a left hook that buckles Laleye. Both men trade along the ropes as the crowd chanted “Rico”. The round ended as Laleye tried a miracle left hook that missed as Hoye and Laleye hugged after the bell. Hoye came out comfortable on top with a unanimous decision (79-72, 79-72, 79-72) to improve to 23-3 (15 KO’s) while Laleye fell to 12-3 (5 KO’s)

Undercard Results

Felix Cora Jr. TKO 3 Tim Flamos

Ryan Coyne UD 6 Rich Gingras

Alfredo Escalera TKO 6 Eric Vega