The Bika-Soliman semifinal was a pretty good fight, Bika winning on scores of 78-74, 78-74 and 77-75. Soliman just didn't have the height to get inside on Bika enough early, though he fought very well in the second half of the fight.
I'm disappointed that Bika beat Soliman, because I really like Soliman, but the truth is, Sam is on the downside of a solid career. 168 is just not the weight for Soliman (34-10, 13 KO), and I hope he moves back down to middleweight. Given his new fame, middleweight could be the perfect weight for him to make some money. He could line himself up for a title fight in Europe or Australia with Arthur Abraham. Abraham would be a rather heavy favorite and I do think he'd beat Soliman without a lot of trouble, but I'd love to see Sam get a nice payday. He's a great guy.
Sakio Bika (24-3-2, 14 KO) has never been a favorite. He has already been dominated by Calzaghe and Bute, and I have no reason to think he'd do any better against Mikkel Kessler. As for Anthony Mundine, I don't think he could have beaten Mundine when Mundine had two good eyes, but now that that's not the case, I don't know. Mundine plans to keep fighting but I have no idea how he's going to get medical clearance if his eye is in the condition we've heard it is. He does want to fight Danny Green next year. Maybe he just wants one more fight, and decided that Green was the guy to go out against.
So next Tuesday, it's Jaidon Codrington (18-1, 14 KO) against Bika. Codrington is a good, young fighter, with real power. His one career loss was an 18-second knockout against Allan Green, and getting knocked out by Green is nothing to be ashamed of. Codrington, should he defeat Bika, will come out of The Contender as the best fighter to win the show's title. Actually, that would be the same story with Bika, but Codrington might really have a very, very bright future.
I'm going to cover the Contender finale next week. I have liked this season much more than the awful second season, and much more than the first one, too. Seeing the fights has made a difference, although I still hate the reality show aspects of it all, with the stupid music during the fights.
So, on the November Fight Night at Bad Left Hook schedule:
Fri., 11/2 - Brock v. Chambers
Sat., 11/3 - Calzaghe v. Kessler
Tue., 11/6 - Codrington v. Bika
Sat., 11/10 - Cotto v. Mosley, Margarito v. Johnson, Casamayor v. Santa Cruz, Ortiz v. Maussa
Thu., 11/15 - Rahman v. Williams
Fri., 11/16 - Arreola v. Oruh, Ward v. Cantrell
Sat., 11/17 - Guzman v. Soto
Fri., 11/23 - Vargas v. Mayorga (maybe)
Busy month. Should be a good one.