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By Michael Amakor - Fairfax Virginia September 20th, 2005

On Saturday September 17, Jimmy Lange one of the stars of the NBC reality Television series the Contender, became the WBE Light Middleweight champion of the world by scoring a technical knockout victory over long time rival and defending champion Perry Ballard,  who was unable to follow through with his promise of handing Jimmy a reality boxing defeat, in the fourth round at the Patriot Center of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia on a card titled Battle for Virginia

Jimmy the hometown favorite entered the arena like a pop star to a standing ovation from 5122 screaming fans who were routing for him to win. He looked serious and focused on dealing with Perry Ballard who had once called him out while pursuing him mercilessly for more than two years. 

From the very first round it became apparent that not only was Jimmy the superior fighter, but he was also the physically bigger man as he controlled the fight with stinging jabs and hooks that made Ballard cringe into an even smaller ball as he tried to use several feints and head movements to throw off the timing of Lange who nevertheless still popped him with even more shots that stunned him nearly sending him to the canvas towards the end of the round.

Jimmy became more effective in the second round and seemed to be having his way, until Ballard exploded with a tremendous two punch combination that connected to Lange's head sending sweat into the ringside seats, amazingly Lange ate the shot and  kept up with more accurate jabs and body shots.

Ballard was unable to penetrate the reach advantage of Jimmy and got jabbed repeatedly every time he tried to close the distance, the third round signaled the beginning of the end for Ballard as Lange scored a knockdown, Ballard beat the count but went down again despite a valiant effort to survive the round. Lange scored another knockdown in the fourth round and kept the punitive pressure and seemed poised to begin battering Perry against the ropes before the referee who had seen enough stopped the contest at the 2.40 mark of the fourth round.

This was a good test for Lange whose record now stands at (26-2-1, 18 KO's). His victory over a professional like Ballard along with the satisfaction of doing so in front of his hometown fans will help subsume the memories of his unexpected weak showing on the Contender series where he lost his first fight despite being ranked as a favorite to win the tournament. He is now being trained by former world champion Buddy McGirt who remarked during the post fight press conference that Lange is skilled enough to be ready for a title shot after about two more fights.

The feud between both fighters did not seem to end with this fight as Ballard attended the post fight conference alone after Lange had exited the room, but he was nevertheless gracious in defeat acknowledging that "he gained my respect as a consummate professional" about Jimmy. This is Ballard's first professional defeat and his record fell to (17-1, 13 KO's). However he intends to return to the welterweight division where he has seen some success including winning the WBF Intercontinental Welterweight title. 

Updated February 16th, 2005

Editors Summary: Despite Lange's recent performance and seemingly superior record and boxing ability, a poll by visitors to FightKings.Com have Joey Gilbert as a huge favorite to beat Lange in this rematch. Gilbert better bring his best game to the ring because he is severly disadvantaged by fighting in Lange's Hometown in front of his fans.


May the best Man Win



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