Sadam Ali’s Ring Generalship Beats Chia Santana in NYC

HBO kicked off their Saturday slate with a welterweight square-off, pitting Sadam Ali, from Brooklyn, against Francisco Santana, from Cali. Ali impressed mightily, with a smart game plan, which featured high volume, and constant movement. A step-slow Santana couldn’t often enough get a bead on the elusive Brooklyner, and the judges’ scores indicated that: 97-93, 97-93, 100-90, Ali got the nod.

Smart and efficient boxing, this is a man with solid fundamentals who will just keep on winning fights.

The Golden Boy boxer Ali, entering with a 21-0 mark (13 KOs) was 146.8, while the 22-3-1 Santana was 146.4.

In the first, Ali moved, snapped a jab, one-twos, started out sharp. Santana wanted to show off a power edge, but Ali is hard to get a bead on.

In the second, Ali ripped left hooks, and a combo flurry midway through had the crowd buzzing. He had the distance he liked and the pace was kept by Ali.

In the third, we saw Ali staying smart, staying ambulatory, mixing movement of foot with head and torso movement. Santana maybe hoped Ali would tire, stop being so energized. Replay showed Santana landed a couple power shots, but Ali digested them smoothly.

In the fourth, we saw again it’s not easy to cut off the ring on a busy mover like Ali. Chia did get busier, looked to close on Ali quicker.

In the fifth, the distance tightened more. We saw a bit more clinching. Ali did a nice rip and dip, threw and ducked and slid out.

In the sixth, Ali was staying smart, composed, on message. To round seven—we saw Ali being first, and being quick with the counter. Chia would plod forward and Ali would pick him off, again and again. In the eighth, Ali’d smart boxing held my attention. In the ninth, Ali was his best self, moving, ripping two and three punch combos, and having lots of left with a left hook to the side. In the tenth, Ali’s power showed up a couple times. Chants of Ali, yep, always nice to hear that, popped up. We went to the cards…

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COMMENTS

-brownsugar :

Ali is one of the sharpest sweetest boxers I've scene in a long time...his evolution as a boxer reminds me of the rise of Salvador Sanchez from a mere prospect to one of the most talented boxers the world has ever seen. I can't wait to see what he's capable of at the championship level.


-brownsugar :

Move over One-Time Thurman. Your rival is here.


-stormcentre :

Someone on this site was reminding about Ali. But it's been a big week . . . can't remember who it was; perhaps OBC. Anyway, looks like Ali is going to cause a few waves; as he did look good. But will (IYO) he beat Thurman, BS?


-stormcentre :

Also . . . .Klitscho just beat Jennings by the way.


-ericfarrell85 :

Move over One-Time Thurman. Your rival is here.
Wow, you see that much? I don't think he has the pop to bother Thurman. I also don't know if he has the beard to take Thurman's power.


-brownsugar :

Wow, you see that much? I don't think he has the pop to bother Thurman. I also don't know if he has the beard to take Thurman's power.
Yes...if Ali can remain as consistent as he's been in his last two fights, I wouldn't be surprised to see Ali out-finess Thurman with his mobility and sharper reflexes. I just think the possibilities are intriguing, and that there is another top prospect in the welterweight division who is as highly skilled as Thurman, Brook, and Khan. Precision boxers like Ali are rare these days.. I think he's capable of upsetting some big names. Of course we will have to see the proof.


-oubobcat :

It turned out to be a very good fight like I expected though Santana did not spring the upset as I thought he would. Ali is really impressing. The best part about him is that he is getting better each time out. And not only getting better but making giant strides in those fights. Santana was a much better foe than Abregu. Ali handled his pressure and boxed very effectively. His speed is underrated and he has tremendous hand speed that tends to surprise his opponents, Santana included. His chin is also very good as he was hit by both Abregu and Santana flush and didn't really flinch in either fight. And keep in mind in this fight, Santana out weighed Ali by about 15 pounds when they set foot in the ring. Honestly, I think he beats Thurman. The reason is the hand speed I mentioned earlier. Ali would box and beat Thurman to the punch with his speed. He'd land combinations and get out. And if clipped, I think he takes Thurman's best.


-stormcentre :

OK, great. If both you and BS are high on Ali, then I will have to go and revisit the Ali V Abregu fight and perhaps some of his earlier ones. I can't find a clean YT video of the Ali V Santana fight, so I can't re-watch that fight. I have seen a few of Ali's earlier fights . . . the one with the guy with *"Ronnie" (spelling) . . was it . . in his name. But, sometimes (not always :) ) I tend to be very critical when assessing prospects, and can then overlook some potential. I cant remember walking away from the above *Ali fight thinking I saw a lot of potential there; so maybe it's like when you listen to new music, don't like it, then hear it again in a few weeks time and are then pleasantly surprised to learn you're impressed with the stuff you previously rejected. Good stuff.


-oubobcat :

OK, great. If both you and BS are high on Ali, then I will have to go and revisit the Ali V Abregu fight and perhaps some of his earlier ones. I can't find a clean YT video of the Ali V Santana fight, so I can't re-watch that fight. I have seen a few of Ali's earlier fights . . . the one with the guy with *"Ronnie" (spelling) . . was it . . in his name. But, sometimes (not always :) ) I tend to be very critical when assessing prospects, and can then overlook some potential. I cant remember walking away from the above *Ali fight thinking I saw a lot of potential there; so maybe it's like when you listen to new music, don't like it, then hear it again in a few weeks time and are then pleasantly surprised to learn you're impressed with the stuff you previously rejected. Good stuff.
I was very critical of Ali not long ago. I thought he'd be beaten by the first good fighter he faced. He struggled against Jay Krupp in 2013 and last year just before the Abregu he struggled mightily against journeyman Jeremy Bryan. Ali was hurt in that fight and fortunate to win a split decision in a fight a lot of people thought he may have lost. But he always had talent and in this sport sometimes fighters get wake up calls. The Bryan fight was a wake up call as well being thrown in with Abregu. Remember, Abregu was on a roll and nobody wanted to get in the ring with him. There were a lot of people in the sport who thought Golden Boy more or less had given up on Ali based on the Bryan fight and put him in with Abregu as a favor to Top Rank who couldn't get Abregu big fights. This was just at the time Oscar and Arum started working together again. I think Ali understood that Golden Boy was giving him an opportunity on a big stage (Hopkins-Kovalev undercard on HBO) but also that a lot of promoters may not put their charges in with such tough opponents if they really believed in them. He had a chip on his shoulder, something to prove and was focused listening to his trainers (he has a good one) on what it took to get the most out of his abilities. I don't think he was necessarily doing that before and more or less relying on his athletic ability to beat over matched opponents. Back to the Bryan fight, Ali struggled early and was hurt as I mentioned earlier. But if you watch that fight, you see that getting hurt caused him to start using his boxing skills more in the second half of that fight. He literally improved (took his trainer's advice too) and took great steps forward in the middle of a tough fight and came back himself to put Bryan down late to help his cause on the cards. Ali then took the momentum of that second half performance against Bryan into the Abregu fight and repeated what he did starting much earlier against Abregu which was part of the reason he was so dominant against Abregu from the opening bell. Basically, Ali figured out how to put all his tools together to become a complete fighter. I give him a lot of credit. He learned in fights that he didn't do so well and put things together to become a very good fighter. And he is still learning and the ceiling is very high for him in my opinion.


-Radam G :

Wow, you see that much? I don't think he has the pop to bother Thurman. I also don't know if he has the beard to take Thurman's power.
I think that Keith "One Time" Thurman puts Sadam Ali to sleep in a round or so. I'm far from impressed. Dude gets hit too much with junk shots and moved like an amateur who believes that he is looking sharp. Play him a harp. And give him some dancing lessons. He is Rocky with his movements, not Sugar. Sadam is jittery, and exaggerated bouncy, instead of smooth. Maybe he should include chasing a baby chicken in his training. Hehe! Holla!


-ericfarrell85 :

I think that Keith "One Time" Thurman puts Sadam Ali to sleep in a round or so. I'm far from impressed. Dude gets hit too much with junk shots and moved like an amateur who believes that he is looking sharp. Play him a harp. And give him some dancing lessons. He is Rocky with his movements, not Sugar. Sadam is jittery, and exaggerated bouncy, instead of smooth. Maybe he should include chasing a baby chicken in his training. Hehe! Holla!
Yeah, that's closer to what I saw. He's jaunty, expends a great deal of energy evading, yet for all that gets popped a fair bit in spite of it. Santana was no clown, perhaps a doorman to the upper echelon, but make no mistake this was a very tough fight for Ali. There are some things to like (he has an instinct for the kill when it's open) and has fast hands. In some ways he reminds me of Algieri, but with more pop (still not enough to stave off a hungry pressure fighter). I don't think he's ready for Khan, Thurman or Brook.


-MCM :

I've seen Ali's last three fights live with the old man, and although (obs) he's gone 3-0, he's failed to impress father or son. The fireworks in his fists are the kind you buy at a drug store in Pennsylvania --where you'll still have enough left over to buy the giant bag of doritoes, a couple lawn chairs, a cooler, and some AA batteries because you just remembered you robbed the A/C remote to give to the TV remote and summer is coming. Ali is house-cat quick without being wild-cat quick. He's slick, but like olive oil imported from India not Italy. He's got all the tools, but they're all off-brand. Thurman, because of his flaws, might need more than One Time to put him to sleep, but Ali will give him One, Two, Three, and as many times as Thurman needs.


-brownsugar :

All is fair in boxing and individual opinions. I can appreciate a different point of view.... When the Ali hype machine was primed and loaded back in 2010 and 2011, Ali was being touted as being the next big thing to hit professional boxing.... he was fighting 6 times a year and Golden Boy didn't spare a dime lavishing his early accomplishments in the type of cyber space print that's usually reserved for fighters with once in a generation future-star status. Ali's profile was significantly reduced in 2012 and 2013 when he fought just 2 and 3 times in those years... And a couple of his performances were less than flattering. After witnessing one fight in particular I was feeling some of the same misgivings several of you guys have expressed. I pretty much lost track of him in 2014 at a time when a major part of the buzz coming from Ali's camp went pretty much dark. ... Although Ali is no Prince Named in the power department (another standout boxer of Yemenish decent) Sadam delivers punches with such violent suddenness, ...the velocity alone is enough to shock a tough resilient boxer like Abregu from his senses. And all this happened after Sadam deftly danced Abregu into a shot he never saw coming. When has anyone done that to Abregu??... Stopped him cold,... With zero excuses to fall back on other than "I got caught". I like MCM's drug store analogy about fireworks...very clever, and it begs the question "when did they start selling weapons grade plutonium at Pharmacy Mart?" I also a saw a creative comment about Olive oil. Next to cold pressed virgin Coconut Oil , Olive Oil is one of the most versatile and nutritious super foods accessible to mankind from the convenience of a grocery shelf. Except for the fact that something like 85% of it is either fake or diluted with a cheaply produced lard-like, heart busting hydrogenated grease. And to think folks drink this stuff several times a day thinking they're receiving vital omega 3 fats and an arterial plaque dissolving nutrient just because the bottle has an old world Italian name enscribed on the label in a fancy font. If you know that the bottle of East Indian Olive Oil is real.....then you'd better grab it because its likely to be the "realest" olive oil on the shelf. All I'm saying is, Ali looks dam*n good to me ... If he continues to improve and remain consistent I believe he will wreck havoc in the welterweight division. I really look forward to revisiting this topic once we get more data on Ali... I also have a feeling I'm not going to regret it.


-flackoguapo :

I've seen Ali's last three fights live with the old man, and although (obs) he's gone 3-0, he's failed to impress father or son. The fireworks in his fists are the kind you buy at a drug store in Pennsylvania --where you'll still have enough left over to buy the giant bag of doritoes, a couple lawn chairs, a cooler, and some AA batteries because you just remembered you robbed the A/C remote to give to the TV remote and summer is coming. Ali is house-cat quick without being wild-cat quick. He's slick, but like olive oil imported from India not Italy. He's got all the tools, but they're all off-brand. Thurman, because of his flaws, might need more than One Time to put him to sleep, but Ali will give him One, Two, Three, and as many times as Thurman needs.
lmao.. I can see Thurman catching Ali with hard shots. He is more pensive and has better coordination than Ali's last opponents. Great match up if ever made(i doubt it though)