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The (under)dog days of 'The Contender'

"Contender" grads have a chip on their shoulders: They're forced to prove they're real fighters who made it onto a reality show, and not reality-show-made fighters. Can the reality TV graduates continue to tear up the scripts and upend the odds?

Updated: March 31, 2008, 10:25 AM ET
By Eric Raskin | ESPN.com

In the build-up to their September pay-per-view rematch, Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather chose decidedly different avenues for staying in the public eye.

Mayweather entered a springier squared circle than he's used to and faced The Big Show in a WrestleMania XXIV match last night, an exhibition whose outcome has been known by all parties involved since the contracts were signed.

Five weeks from now, De La Hoya will enter a more familiar ring, the kind where turnbuckle pads ...

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