Saturday, January 10, 2015

Francisco Santana VS Kendal Mena: The Meaningless Zero, + GIF Spotlight

The Setup:

Teddy Atlas began the ESPN Friday Night Fights broadcast without playing up the opening match at all, true to himself and true to the viewing audience. He said that Mena had only fought one fighter in his 20-0 career who had a winning record. This is true as far as I can tell from his Boxrec page. An undefeated, unprepared fighter stood on one side, was the point Teddy tried to make. He also came in on short notice after over a year of inactivity. Meanwhile, while Santana comes in with three losses, he has also shared a ring with such talents as Eddie Gomez, Karim Mayfield, Joachim Alcine, Freddy Hernandez, Julian Williams and Jermell Charlo. The difference in professional experience in this match is overwhelming and Santana comes in relatively fresh off of a match in August of 2014.

The Action:

The action was short enough to just say this: When Santana landed, from the beginning, I think he hurt Mena with everything that landed flush. I think Mena had jelly in his legs before the kayo punch and maybe before the first of two knockdowns occurred. It makes me strongly question his durability at this level, the way I saw him react to the punches. Anybody can get the lights turned out but again, I don't think he took any good punches well in this brief outing. Here was the big left hook finish, in GIF form, and it really is the story of the action in a nutshell:

Francisco Santana KO1 Kendal Mena. Mena seemed completely out of his depth and his head was frighteningly bounced off of the canvas, leading to a correct call by Referee Jack Reiss to get people in to check on him immediately. This was a bad one, folks.

What it means to me: For Santana, that he is in the same position, really. He is that guy who hovers just inside the group. You wouldn't bet on him picking up a world title. But you wouldn't bet against him either. He's a contender of some kind. For Mena? My guess is obscurity. He's just a guy with a good record on paper, constructed in Dominican Republic against non-names, and likely to return to the same. There's nothing to talk about for him except that if he should decide to take on another step up from his 20 previous opponents, he shouldn't do it on a long layoff; he shouldn't do it on short notice, and he shouldn't do it too soon because that was a vicious blow that put him down and a vicious blow to the back of his head from the canvas.

I'll throw in that I watched the fight with someone and when it ended I mentioned Mena's lack of meaningful competition, and the statistic he'd missed about his opponents only having one winning record, he said of Santana's win "That's like knocking out a baby." While that may be a bit unfair, I guess I can't say I don't know where he's coming from. On the one hand, it was a good job by Santana and as action-packed as you're likely going to have for a one-rounder, but on the other hand, it did leave a bad taste in my mouth. I wish Mena a nice recovery and congratulate Santana on a dramatic performance, regardless of my mixed feelings on the matchmaking. Sometimes boxing is like that. A guy trying to make his way in the world gets a meaningless zero ripped off of him and is left in a distasteful heap. It's not the good side of boxing but it's normal and never going away. I could do without it being televised, however, ESPN.

Work that bag,
Basement Gym Boxing

Thanks for stopping by our place. Here are some other pages you might enjoy:

Teddy Atlas Shoves George Foreman: GIF Spotlight

Mike Tyson Punches Bonecrusher After The Bell: GIF Spotlight 

A List Of Teddy Atlas' Unofficial Boxing Score Cards For ESPN

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