NEW YORK CITY — Keep coming back here for regular updates from ringside at Madison Square Garden, leading up to a separate post for the headliner of the HBO card, Klitschko vs Jennings.
Sadam Ali (21-0), the promising welterweight prospect and Brooklyn native, stepped under the bright lights at MSG to face Francisco Santana (22-3-1) and left with an uninspiring but comprehensive unanimous decision to remain undefeated.
Santana looked to crowd early and pushed a relaxed Ali to the ropes often, but failed to find a home for much of his output. Ali managed to stun the charging fighter in front of him with a counter shot in round 2 and immediately put his foot on the accelerator to test his opponent’s resolve with a volley of punches. Santana recovered quickly and continued to chase the elusive but effective Ali in the following rounds.
By round 5 Santana had managed to work himself into the fight, landing well in spots when getting Ali stationary along the ropes, but he continued to be outclassed by the more heralded undefeated fighter.
In the 8th Ali chose to fire back with a little more muster on his shots and landed well drawing roars from the crowd. Those roars were quickly trumped by the cheers elicited by Bruce Willis’ famous mug appearing on the jumbotron as the “Die Hard” star was in attendance alongside former heavyweight greats like Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield.
The final round saw Ali land a few more big shots to get the crowd chanting his famed boxing name, but no concussive ending materialized as he cruised to the finish without much more effort.
Though serving as the chief undercard support in a featured spot, Ali failed to turn in a dynamic performance. Much of the fight he was content to outbox his more aggressive but less skilled opponent and while easily staying undefeated, he likely failed to wow many new fans.
The judges scored the fight 100-90 and 97-93 twice in awarding the win to Ali.
Undefeated heavyweight “Prince” Charles Martin capped off a slow round by landing a right hook to stun and cut Tom Dallas over the left eye late in the 1st before finishing off the hapless prizefighter moments later along the ropes. Dallas (17-4) traveled all the way to Madison Square Garden from Chatham, U.K. but failed to land anything of note in the short-lived fight. His effort in going through customs upon arrival in the States surely lasted longer than the 2:56 of his time in the spotlight at MSG. Martin remains undefeated and heads back to St. Louis with a perfect 21-0-1 record.