Volume 21, Number 41 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | February 20 - 26, 2009
Amateur boxer Ehinomen “Hollywood Hino” Ehikhamenor, who trained at Trinity Boxing Club in Lower Manhattan, has a chance for a big payday next week when he fights for the championship of “The Contender” show.
Downtown boxer is a final contender for ‘Contender’
By Candida L. Figueroa
Boxing his way from Lower Manhattan to Singapore, Ehinomen “Hollywood Hino” Ehikhamenor is ready to bring the title of “The Contender” back to where it all started.
Ehikhamenor, 27, went from trainee to trainer at Trinity Boxing Club in only the last two years and now he is a finalist in “The Contender” reality show on the Versus channel. He’ll fight for the title in a three-round bout broadcast live Feb. 25 from MGM Grand at Foxwoods casino in Connecticut.
When an old promoter told him the show was looking for a New York based cruiserweight fighter, he was ready for television. “I got to hang out with Tony Danza, it was a great experience for those two months and I’m never going to forget it. I had lovely times there,” Ehikhamenor said of his time in Singapore.
John Snow, director at Trinity Boxing Club in the Financial District, said he’s confident Ehikhamenor, an immigrant from West Africa, will come back a winner. “He’s a very good boxer, tough guy, fast and strong and he has a very good shot at winning. He has presence and can really light up a room,” Snow said suggesting the source of the “Hollywood” nickname.
Preparing for the final competition in South Beach, Fla. and “feeling like brand new money,” Ehikhamenor has trained for over a month for the finale against former housemate Troy Ross. Ehikhamenor’s win over Rico Hoye in the semi-finals, which aired on Wed., Feb. 17, made him one of the last to make it out of the original16 who competed in Singapore last summer.
Despite “Contender” success and the chance to win about $1 million, Ehikhamenor said the only thing that has changed about him is his apartment. His move from Jackson Heights to Midtown is in the works, as he plans to be walking distance away from everything he loves in the city, and that includes Trinity.
“When I come back from winning, I’m gonna go right back to Trinity. I love working there and it’s my passion. I’m the same guy and I’m not too good to tie someone’s gloves for them,” Hino said.
The grand prize has not yet been determined for next week’s fight, but previous season champions collected $1 million (first season), $500,000 (second season) and $750,000 (third season), the cover of Ring Magazine and a car, according to espn.com.
Versus channel is available on Time Warner, Verizon and RCN.