By Keith Idec
Brandon Adams delivered in his second shot at a televised tournament final.
Three years after John Thompson knocked him out in the second round of ESPN’s “Boxcino” 154-pound tournament final, Adams defeated Shane Mosley Jr. in “The Contender” championship match Friday night in Inglewood, California. Los Angeles’ Adams beat Mosley on the scorecards of all three judges – Max DeLuca (99-91), Alejandro Rochin (100-90) and Zachary Young (100-90) – to win the 10-round, 160-pound final of the fifth season of “The Contender.”
The shorter, stronger Adams (21-2, 13 KOs) dominated Mosley for much their fight. He hurt his less experienced opponent several times, but there weren’t any knockdowns during their fight.
An exhausted Mosley seemed content to have avoided a knockout when the final bell rang.
EPIX aired the finale of the reality show’s season live from The Forum. In addition to earning a top-10 ranking, the 29-year-old Adams claimed a $250,000 prize for winning “The Contender” finale.
Host Andre Ward also awarded Adams with “The Contender” championship belt after the decision was announced.
The 27-year-old Mosley, a son of a legendary three-division champion who watched from ringside, lost for the third time as a professional (13-3, 8 KOs).
Adams continued to pick apart Mosley during the 10th round to ensure his shutout on two of the three scorecards. Adams drilled Mosley with a right cross that left Mosley holding at around the 20-second mark of the ninth round.
Adams hammered away at Mosley’s body throughout the eighth round. He didn’t land the type of head shots on Mosley that he did during previous rounds, though.
Sensing Mosley was a tired, beaten man, Adams went after his vulnerable opponent throughout the seventh round.
One of his punches opened a cut over Mosley’s left eye early in the seventh. Adams also moved Mosley backward with a left uppercut at the 1:08 mark of the seventh round.
A hard overhand right by Adams snapped back Mosley’s head at the midway mark of the sixth round. Adams landed various lefts and rights during the second half of the sixth round that forced Mosley to hold.
Mosley looked overwhelmed as he walked back to his corner following that sixth round.
An active Adams continued to build his lead in a fifth round, in which he hit the tiring Mosley with several lefts and rights that kept Mosley moving backward.
A hard left hook by Adams made Mosley hold him at the 30-second mark of the fourth round. Mosley again had difficulty landing clean shots on Adams in the fourth round.
Adams wasn’t especially busy in the third round, but landed enough jabs to win that round. Mosley seemed unsure of how to land against Adams and didn’t let his hands go in those three minutes.
Adams’ short left hook grazed Mosley’s head and buckled his legs about 50 seconds into the second round.
Not much happened in the first round until Adams drilled Mosley with a short left hook with just about a minute remaining in it. Adams landed another left hook about 20 seconds later.
To reach Friday’s final, Adams knocked out Tyrone Brunson in the fourth round, and out-pointed Ievgen Khytrov and Eric Walker in five-rounders. Mosley made the final by stopping Devaun Lee in the fifth round, beating Daniel Valdivia by unanimous decision and overcoming Michael Moore by split decision.
Filming through the semifinals ended more than five months ago. Adams and Mosley went their separate ways thereafter and were afforded time for full training camps before boxing Friday night.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.