Sadam Ali Decisions a Very Game Francisco Santana

by David P. Greisman, live from ringside

NEW YORK CITY — Sadam Ali was made to work hard for 10 rounds against Francisco Santana, taking a unanimous decision that appeared much closer in the ring than it did on the scorecards.

Two judges had it 97-93, or seven rounds to three for Ali, while the third had a ridiculous shutout at 100-90.

Santana came out intent on pressuring Ali. He was aided by the fact that he had rehydrated from 146.4 pounds early on Friday afternoon all the way up to a reported 167 pounds by Saturday night. The ring also appeared to be a little smaller than normal, leaving Ali with less room to move.

But move is what Ali would have to do all night, trying to get space, stem the aggression, score points and avoid punishment. Ali would sometimes use quick flurries, then move, or would lead with a single shot before ducking down and moving away. Santana continued to push forward, letting go more when Ali was trapped temporarily against the ropes or in the corner.

Ali was able to land an extended combination in the second, leaving Santana covering up. Santana continued to come at Ali, who sustained the perceivably heavier blows well. And despite Santana’s sustained body attack, Ali was well able to move throughout the 10-round bout. Santana’s attack was a grinding one, though he did have moments like in the eighth round when he landed a good left hook, was caught with a shot from Ali, then retaliated with another left hook. Ali ruled the 10th round, which seemed important to many of those watching from ringside and on television.

In reality, the outcome had long since been decided.

At the halfway point, judge John Basile had Ali ahead four rounds to one, only giving Santana the fifth round. Don Trella had Ali ahead three rounds to two, giving Santana rounds four and five. Alan Rubinstein had a shutout.

By the end of the fight, Basile had given Ali rounds 1-4, 6, 7 and 10, and had given Santana rounds 5, 8 and 9. Trella had given Ali rounds 1-3, 6-8 and 10, and had given Santana rounds 4, 5 and 9. Rubinstein still had Ali the shutout winner on his card.

CompuBox punch counts from ringside did show Ali as statistically superior, crediting him with going 196 of 588 on the night (33 percent), while Santana was more active but less accurate, going 153 of 720 (21 percent). Ali was 149 of 351 (42 percent) with his power shots, which didn’t seem to have as much steam as Santana’s except for when Ali sat down on them. Santana was 117 of 484 (24 percent). In terms of jabs, Ali was 47 of 237 (20 percent) while Santana was 36 of 236 (15 percent).

Ali, 26, of nearby Brooklyn, New York, moves to 22-0 with 13 KOs. He is a 2008 Olympic alternate who turned pro at the beginning of 2009 and developed at a gradual base, stepping up last November with a ninth-round technical knockout of Luis Carlos Abregu.

Santana, 28, of Santa Barbara, California, falls to 22-4-1 with 11 KOs. Those other defeats came against Karim Mayfield (once by split decision in 2008, once by technical knockout in 2009) and Jermell Charlo (by unanimous decision in 2011). His draw came against rising prospect Julian Williams, also in 2011. He had won 10 in a row before the Ali fight.

Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at or internationally at . Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by torosboxing75 on 04-26-2015

[QUOTE=parrish duke;15606770]Ali is not a Bum. yes more to the body, but Santana can punch and he caught Ali a couple times. Go downstairs and open yourself up for the counter - can't do that with certain fighters - will…

Comment by VatoMulatto on 04-26-2015

[QUOTE=John Locke;15608797]Chaves vs Ali should be next. If Ali can beat Chaves, I'd put him in the top 10 at 147[/QUOTE] That would be a good fight. I think Chaves knocks him out though.

Comment by John Locke on 04-26-2015

Chaves vs Ali should be next. If Ali can beat Chaves, I'd put him in the top 10 at 147

Comment by VatoMulatto on 04-26-2015

[QUOTE=buckfangs;15606851]Great performance by Sadam, he showed his heart and proved himself as a top welterweight[/QUOTE] Santana isn't that good. He needs to beat better opponents to prove himself as a top welterweight. He's talented but still got more to prove.

Comment by SkillspayBills on 04-26-2015

Kid is representing Brooklyn proudly. Fights like Paulie but with a bit more pop.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (24)
Top Headlines Maurice Hooker Set For March 9 Defense vs. Mikkel LesPierre De La Hoya: Jacobs Worries Me; 2nd-Best at 160 After Canelo Roach: Pacquiao Hit Me To The Chest - Whole Body Went Numb! WBC: Jack-Browne Winner Will Be Mandatory To Gvozdyk Canelo-Jacobs: Venue TBD, T-Mobile The Current Frontrunner Photos: Warren vs. Oubaali, Ruiz vs. Tepora - Face To Face Photos: Badou Jack, Marcus Browne - Go Face To Face Jacobs Inks New Deal With Hearn, Three Fight Deal With DAZN Photos: Bryant Jennings, Oscar Rivas - Ready For Battle in Verona Photos: Terence Crawford, Amir Khan - Go Face To Face in NYC Ellerbe: Broner Beating Pacquiao is No Upset, This is 50-50 Fight Canelo Alvarez vs. Daniel Jacobs Finalized For May 4 Photos: Serrano vs. Voraberger, Doheny vs. Takahashi - Weigh-In Photos: Jorge Linares, Pable Cesar Cano - Ready For War Photos: Chris Algieri, Danny Gonzalez - On Point To Fight Photos: Demetrius Andrade, Artur Akavov - Ready For Battle Erislandy Lara vs. Brian Castano Tops Showtime Triple, March 2 Ricardo Quiroz To Face Jamaine Ortiz on February 23 Photos: Keith Thurman Putting in Work For Josesito Lopez Weights From New York City: Andrade 159.8, Akavov 160 Hearn Prepared To Win Purse Bid For Wilder-Fury Rematch Broner: Arum Offered Me $2 Million To Fight Pacquiao; F*** Him! Liam Smith vs. Sam Eggington Set Down March 30th Shohjahon Ergashev vs. Mykal Fox on February 15, ShoBox Anthony Yarde vs. Mehdi Amar Set For February 23 Khan: I Think a Brook Fight Is Still There, A Fight I'd Love To Have Malignaggi Feels Garcia is 'Going Too Far' in Facing Spence Broner: If I Win That Maidana Fight, I'd Probably Be Dead Now Hearn, Golden Boy Keen on Linares-Cano Winner vs. Hooker Warren Reacts To Hearn's Offer Claim For Joshua vs. Fury Loeffler Aims To Stage Several 'Hollywood Fight Nights' in 2019 Liam Smith Would Welcome a Showdown With Kell Brook Pacquiao: What Happened With Marquez Will Not Happen Again! Cameron Krael Fights on Mayweather Card at MGM Grand Video: Mike Reed on Preparing Adrien Broner For Pacquiao Video: Roy Jones Jr. Breaks Down Pacquiao vs. Broner Clash Video: Caleb Plant Discusses IBF Title Win Over Jose Uzcategui Video: Al Bernstein Reacts To Adrien Broner Going Off On Him Manny Pacquiao - Is This the One? Amir Khan: I'll Beat Crawford, Take His Place in P4P Rankings!

Latest Active Forum Threads