While not as "thrilling" as the previous "Never Say Goodbye" two-parter, "Decision in the Ring" delivers as much drama as Kimble tries to save a boxer from himself. In the process, the show presents an unflinching, complicated view of race relations that stands out as unique among most of its contemporaries.
Like Kimball, Joe Smith has been forced to give up his dream to take on a lesser role in life and the decision has been forced by circumstances beyond his control (for Kimble, it is his conviction; for Joe, it is racism). The result is a genuine bond between the two men and an understanding. The threat to Kimble's freedom takes a backseat to the triangle of Joe, Laura and Kimble. The scenes in which Joe says he would rather die with the respect he has as a boxer than live in a world that would never give him his due as a doctor are powerful. And David Janssen's scenes with Ruby Dee are strong in their own right. The terrific guest cast results in a strong interpretation of a great script.
On a more technical note, the stark black and white cinematography really helps to create the bleak tone of the story, and makes the fight scenes and the ringside drama come alive in the climax.