Monday, June 9, 2014
Daniel Martz VS Alexis Santos: The FS1 Disaster Of The Evening
Alexis Santos was in a spectacle tonight. Referee Leo Gerstel, for better or worse, is our referee for this match. Brian Custer and Danny Jacobs are our commentators. There was, of course, some kind of title on the line, of some sort.
So, round one begins:
Santos seems to have hurt his ankle leaping into a left hook and squats down with a glove touch, with no knockdown called, rightfully. Martz goes after him and starts landing on the ropes, Santos covering up.
Santos goes down, seemingly, again, not from Martz's attack but the assumed pain in his right ankle. Brian Custer and Danny Jacobs are both saying right ankle. This time, the referee gives him a count. He was getting hit on the ropes when he went down, though it looks to me like he's trying to hop on one foot just to remain upright when he goes down. In no way do I think punches forced him down but seeing that the punches were taking place when he went down, the referee's call here is not a problem to me just yet.
Martz is swarming Santos with body shots and mugging him, making vocal noises when he punches. Santos does finally attempt a big right hand but he's clearly having trouble just standing, let alone planting his feet to punch. The round ends Martz looking to use his body weight to back up the man that can barely stand to the ropes and lean on him a bit, after the bell is clear limping agony. I am thinking they might stop it in the corner. The referee is in plain view of this. All that's audible to me for sure is the cornerman asking "What do you want to do? Quit?"
At the very beginning of round two, with Martz charging to his target, Santos can't do anything but hobble backwards to the ropes, which probably held him up and bounced him back upright. Martz is openly shoving him back, bulling him into the ropes, because his man can't offer any resistance to it, heavily outweighed and with only one leg. It's smart tactics on his part if the referee allows it, but it's so blatant, a veteran ref should have him warned at that point. Santos can only throw a shot here and there, all his strength and concentration seems to be on keeping upright. Everytime Martz wants to back him up, it's easy work. Santos is talking to him. It looks like he's gesturing to his ankle, saying something to the effect of "I'm on one leg, is that all you can do to me?" That sort of thing. And, really, one wonders if that is all Martz can do with a man on one leg.
As Santos looks like he's finally getting his bearings back, Martz takes the opportunity to lean/push him down again and Santos gives way to the giant and goes to the ground. The referee rules it a slip, does NOT warn Martz that I can tell either. Santos is frustrated, and looks to push away the ref a bit to get back to work his near impossible task. The referee lets them go back to the fight. Santos tries to push into Martz, possibly with a deliberate attempt to butt him and Martz, in this ugly disaster, decides to again get his body weight on him and just walks the hobbling, hopping, one-legged fighter back into the corner as they embrace in a bear hug that is anything but affectionate.
Santos is clearly in agony and the referee breaks them. He sends Martz to the corner and walks Santos to his own corner to speak to the doctor. They continue. I don't know why. This is becoming pointless. I do understand letting a guy try and make the best of it to see if he can fight but it seems clear that he simply can't fight under these circumstances (how many guys could?) and if Martz where sharper he might have ended it by now but he's simply not good enough to take advantage with actual punches. He's only able to take advantage with leaning and pushing the crippled opponent.
This just isn't fighting, despite Santos' admirable efforts. Santos tries to even bounce a bit and keep the hope alive but missing a punch he slips to the canvas yet again at about 45 seconds left in the second round. If that isn't the final touch of obviousness to stop the match, I really don't know what is. But referee Leo Gerstel, mindbogglingly, just walks him to the corner for another check with the doctor and the "fight" continues on! 20 seconds left and Martz somehow can't end it any more than the referee can see that it's over. At the tail end of the third Santos misses an overhand right haymaker by an absolute mile and his ankle gives and he touches his glove to the canvas and hobbles back upright. Danny Jacobs says "Wow...interesting round." That is one way to describe this atrocity, Mr. Jacobs.
They go back to their corners and I here someone out there say "WHAT in the HELL...?" and I am right there with whoever said it. It looks like still the doctor and referee haven't elected to put an end to this. I think the corner tells Santos they're going to stop it and Santos says through any FS1 attempt at censorship "Don't you f**king dare!" but I think he knows where it's going. Danny Jacobs is with Santos on this, it seems. But when your job is to watch over your fighter, you cannot have that fighters' mentality that Jacobs and Santos seem to have about this. 'We talked about- he's got over 200 family and friends." Brian Custer adds to drive home why Santos might be so resistant to giving up on this situation.
So, we head into the THIRD ROUND. I am astonished by this. Honestly, I am. Santos' attitude is admirable but there's a reason why fighters don't get allowed to fight on as they wish and the corner, the referee and the doctor can overrule them. There's a reason for that. If this had been against a more dangerous and savvy fighter than Martz, this could've been a tragedy. As this round starts Santos clutches onto Martz with his back to the ropes. Martz is still incapable of ending this. He's largely smothering himself trying to lean on Santos and punch at the same time. I fully believe if he gave himself room it'd be over by now. He could probably have ended this in the second round if he were another more powerful and technical giant prospect- Dominic Breazeale, for instance.
Jessica Rosales comes on to tell us about the doctor's thoughts. The doctor had thoughts, I guess. Basically, he's said that as long as Santos can stand and see and wants to continue...which is where Brian Custer reminds us we've seen several instances where the standing part hasn't come off. Thank you, Brian. Danny Jacobs again affirms his support for the fight continuing. Jacobs seems both very genuine but very misguided on this, to me. I'm thinking Brian is more along with my line of thinking here. The fighters exchange at about a minute and thirty seconds to go and again Santos is pushed, hobbling backward on one leg. Martz is still smothering himself when he's trying to attack. Santos loses his footing again, but not falling, only going backward into the corner, hopping along. Martz is still inept while Santos is in the corner. This is a truly awful thing. Santos keeps dipping in pain and wincing. Santos waves Martz in and smiles at him. He's no more impressed y the big man than I am. The round ends. Thankfully. We've got a physically crippled fighter and a technically crippled fighter and neither of them is doing much fighting because of their handicaps.
The end: The fight is finally called as a corner retirement. Daniel "The Mountain" Martz celebrated as though he had actually won the fight on his own merits. I thought that was a fascinating reaction, if not outright distasteful. But I can understand being excited, even under those circumstances, I suppose. He really thinks he did something and the crowd really thinks not as they boo him in Santos' backyard. "Any victory's a good victory." Danny Jacobs says, kindly.
Summary: Daniel Martz has an awful lot of work to do if he wants to be a hot heavyweight prospect. I wouldn't mind FS1 getting him in with fellow mountainous heavyweight Dominic Breazeale, I'd add, as a speak-of-the-devil moment. Alexis Santos is a proud fighter. Leo Gerstel gets an F and that F stands for a bad word I said multiple times during his officiating job in this match. Despite what I consider poor officiating calls and a disaster event, on paper, this wasn't a bad pick for FS1.
Work that bag,
Basement Gym Boxing