Moloney vs. McKinnon: FOX8/Foxtel
By Paul Upham: The new television boxing tournament series The Contender Australia continued with Episode 2 on Monday night November 9 at 8:30pm on the FOX8 channel. The live finale of the tournament will be held on January 11, 2010.
The officially licensed spin off from Mark Burnett’s American version replicates the four original boxing series with one major difference. The eventual champion not only receives a title belt, cash and prizes, but also a guaranteed fight with two division world champion Anthony “The Man” Mundine and a pay cheque of $250,000 in 2010.
Week 2 saw the fighters undertake the “ultimate athlete challenge”. Their ability, speed, fitness and power were tested by fitness guru Ray Kelly and his team from the Australian Sports Science Centre, over a series of exercises and challenges.
The boxers remained in their two teams from Week 1 and their collective average scores would determine the challenge winner, which gave them the power to select Match 2.
Blue Team (trainer Billy Hussein)
Gold Team (trainer Paul Briggs)
Sonni Michael Angelo
Josh Clenshaw (rested after Match 1)
Host Charlotte Dawson read out all of the scores, out of a total of 100, to the boxers.
Ultimate Athlete Challenge Results
Daniel McKinnon (Gold) – 90
Ben McCulloch (Blue) – 73.3
Adrian Taihia (Blue) – 70
Junior Talipeau (Gold) – 66.6
Victor Oganov (Blue) – 61.7
Les Piper (Gold) – 61.6
Garth Wood (Gold) – 58.4
Pradeep Singh (Blue) – 53.4
Kariz Kariuki (Gold) – 39.9
Nader Hamdan (Blue) – 35
Luke Moloney (Blue) – 25
Sonni Michael Angelo (Gold) – 15.1
Team Average Scores
Gold Team – 55.3
Blue Team – 53.1
With the power to make Match 2, Daniel McKinnon, 26 years, 13-4-1 (7) from New Zealand selected Luke Moloney, 29 years, 13-4 (0) from Victoria for the second five round match.
On fight night, the two boxers went head to head in the ring like bulls before the fight even started. There was a lot of passion on display.
The edited highlights of the match showed McKinnon starting strong in round 1. Moloney landed a strong combination early in round 2, which prompted some spirited exchanges. A left hook in round 3 dropped Moloney to the canvas. He staggered up on wobbly legs and beat the count. McKinnon finished strong and dropped Moloney again with a right hand. There was no escape this time and Moloney was counted out. Referee Will Soulos waving off the contest at the 1:22 minute mark.
The entire fight can be seen on-line in its entirety at www.Fox8.com.au.
The official result was a 3rd round knockout win for Daniel McKinnon.
The official date of the fight was August 17, 2009 at Olympic Park, Homebush, Sydney.
Luke Moloney was eliminated from the tournament and forced to hang up his Contender gloves.
The Contender Australia Week 3 will premiere on Monday night November 16 at 8:30pm AEST on FOX8, with replays screened throughout the week.