Sadam Ali-Francisco Santana: BScene Staff Predictions

By Jake Donovan

Sadam Ali and Francisco Santana are presented the task of getting the crowd hype ahead of tonight’s heavyweight championship between long-reigning Wladimir Klitschko and unbeaten contender Bryant Jennings. More important to their own career, however, is the challenge Ali and Santana present to each other in their HBO-televised bout Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

The show begins at 10:00pm ET.

If ever there was an ideal opportunity to live up to his full potential, it was when Ali (21-0, 13KOs) made his HBO debut last November. Since his pro debut, Ali has been little more than just another member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic boxing team that continues to underachieve in the pro ranks.

That changed in an instant for the 26-year old Brooklyn boxer, who was brilliant in a nine-round destruction of murderous punching Luis Carlos Abregu. The feat took place last November in Atlantic City, on the undercard of Sergey Kovalev’s tour-de-force performance over Bernard Hopkins in their three-belt light heavyweight title fight.

For the second time in as many fights, Ali plays chief support to a major event, where more eyes than usual will be on him.

It goes without saying that Saturday’s bout is by far the biggest stage on which Santana (22-3-1, 11KOs) has performed. The once-promising prospect from California hit a very rough patch in his career, going 4-3-1 over a 3 ½ year stretch and suddenly on the verge of opponent status.

A silver lining in his past setbacks is that the lone draw on his record came against Julian Williams, a 6-0 prospect at the time who has since emerged as a junior middleweight to watch. Still, the stalemate and subsequent loss to Jermell Charlo was enough to convince Santana that the welterweight division is perhaps a better fit.

Ten straight wins have followed, including a major upset over previously unbeaten Eddie Gomez last June. His most recent bout was another win over an undefeated fighter, scoring a 1st round knockout of Kendall Luna in front of a live audience on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights.

Read on to see how the staff at believes tonight’s welterweight crossroads bout plays out.


Ryan Burton (Santana late TKO): Santana has upset plenty of fighters and think I pulls off another one with a late stoppage of the heavily favored Ali.

Jake Donovan (Santana SD): Chia has turned a corner in recent years. It's easy to get excited over Ali given his stellar showing versus Abregu, but my Spider Man senses tell me an upset is in the making here.

John MacDonald (Ali UD): Sadam Ali will look to build on his win over Abregu against Santana - who has upset unbeaten prospects in the past. Ali's hand speed should be the difference.

Takahiro Onaga (Santana SD): I feel an upset is due here. Santana is not a bad fighter and is very easy to overlook.

Cliff Rold (Ali Dec.): I like the progress Ali is making and he should pass his latest test here.

Reynaldo Sanchez (Ali KO4): Sadam Ali by easy KO

Victor Salazar (Ali MD): This is the best fight on paper on the schedule. Santana can punch and has some solid names on his resume. Ali is more of the boxer and surprised many when he defeated Luis Carlos Abregu last November. We should see some very good entertaining rounds with the boxer beating the puncher in a close decision.

Alexey Sukachev (Ali UD): Several months ago I would have picked Santana in there but Ali impressed me much versus Abregu. A well-rounded, total fighter with possibly a championship potential. Santana is only a contender, and it will be felt.

Ali - 5
Santana - 3

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Post a Comment - View More User Comments (0)
Top Headlines Badou Jack vs. Marcus Browne - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Nordine Oubaali Decisions Rau'shee Warren, Wins WBC Title Hugo Ruiz Drops, Decisions Alberto Guevara To Win Kambosos, Pacquiao Sparring Partner, Easily Out-Boxes Perez Badou Jack: Marcus Browne Definitely Lost To 'Hot Rod' Kalajdzic Pacquiao vs. Broner - LIVE Results From Las Vegas Broner Coach: If Manny is Aggressive, He'll Get KO'd The F*** Out Thorslund Retains: Sanchez KO's Ceylan, Khattab Wins Pacquiao vs. Broner - CompuBox Historical Review Ellerbe: This is must win fight for both Pacquiao and Broner Manny Pacquiao-Adrien Broner: Stats & Stakes Mike Lee Eyes Jack-Browne Winner; Shot At Beterbiev's Title Lolenga Mock's Long Career Likely Over, Loses Decision To Veron Ellerbe Compares Mayweather's First PPV To Broner's Meng, Rossing, Mafoud, Poulsen Win Bouts in Nykobing Falster Broner Wants To Give Hope To Young Kids, So They Follow Dreams Photos: Oscar Rivas Crushes Bryant Jennings in Final Round Jack: Talkative Browne Insecure, Trying To Build His Confidence Daily Bread Mailbag: Crawford-Khan, Pacquiao, Maidana, More Pacquiao: Broner, Trainer Think I'm Old, But They're Wrong! Photos: Demetrius Andrade Dominates, Stops Artur Akavov Photos: Pablo Cesar Cano Demolishes Jorge Linares in One Pacquiao-Broner: Aging Legend vs. Elite Gatekeeper Linares: Cano Surprised Me, I Felt Better at 135 - Hard To Make It Demetrius Andrade: Put Golovkin in Front of Me - I'll Destroy Him! Why Most of Us Still Root For Manny Pacquiao Lomachenko vs. Crolla Ordered To Purse Bid on February 4 Demetrius Andrade Outboxes, Stops Artur Akavov in Twelfth Oscar Rivas Knocks Out Bryant Jennings in Twelfth Round Pablo Cesar Cano Destroys Jorge Linares in One Round Shocker TJ Doheny Stops Ryohei Takahashi in Eleven Rounds Shakur Stevenson Blasts Out Jessie Cris Rosales in Four Chris Algieri Holds Off Late Rally, Outpoints Danny Gonzalez Photos: Badou Jack, Marcus Browne Nearly Erupt at Weigh-In Photos: Manny Pacquiao, Adrien Broner - Ready For War Amanda Serrano Blasts Voaberger, Becomes 7 Division Champ Overweight Tepora Replaced On PPV, Stripped of Interim WBA Title Top Rank on ESPN Early Results From Turning Stone Casino Photos: Maurice Hooker, Mikkel LesPierre - Go Face To Face Photos: Dmitry Bivol, Joe Smith - Go Face To Face in New York

Latest Active Forum Threads