ShoBox 12-01-2006--Garcia vs. Santiago
Salvador Garcia (14-3-2, 1ND, 7 KOs)
Oh boy, another southpaw versus orthodox showdown. This one should be a lot faster, however, as these are the little fellas. Thats right, 10 rounds of flyweight action! Nothing says boxing like two guys who, combined, weigh 50lbs less than Holley Mangold.
Mario Santiago, a converted junior featherweight, is making his third appearance on ShoBox this year, having posted a 2-0 record in some very good fights. Salvador Garcia, a natural featherweight, has decided not to go out of his way to stand in Santiagos way. Youd think that with Sal Garcia being the naturally-larger man that hed push the smaller Santiago around, throw harder shorts, and generally act like the larger man.
Of course, youd be wrong.
Mario Santiago was the smaller and faster, more active fighter. Despite being smaller, he was also the only fighter tonight who had any sting whatsoever on his punches. Garcia seemed content to, seemingly, stop Garcias shots with his face, not move his feet or shoulders, and to obligingly throw one weak-ass punch at a time. I guess Garcia is just that nice of a guy, or maybe his people put him up against a fighter who moved a little too much for Garcias liking.
Santiago generally controlled this fight, moving in and out as he wished. Sometimes Mario would move in and throw a combo. Sometimes Mario would move in and willingly brawl with Garcia, like he did for most of the 5th round, ostensibly to wake up the crowd a little by giving us a little bit of the old scrawny Latin-style of throw-down you expect from fighters under 140lbs. Mario Santiago hit the ground running in this one, and didnt have one second in the fight where he wasnt in complete control of his opponent.
Sal Garcia, who fought tough and ate every piece of leather Santiago provided him, was just way, way, WAY out of his league tonight, both in terms of in-ring skills and his corner. I mean, it took them most of the rest period between the 6th and 7th rounds to open a pack of gauze to try and staunch the flow of blood from a cut over Garcias eye, and they almost waited a little too long before throwing in the towel for Garcia in the 7th round. It was just general incompetence, and they probably shouldve stopped the fight on the stool in the 6th when it was obvious that Garcias cut was getting worse and their man wasnt going to be able to do a damn thing in the fight.
Im sure Sal Garcia is a proud man, but theres no shame in knowing that youre getting your ass kicked by a guy who is much, much better than you are. You can stay in there and force the officials hand (or your corners hand, in this case), or you can admit defeat, cash your check, and not piss blood for the next week.
Despite the mismatch, it was an entertaining exhibition, if only from the fact Garcia was able to show both his power, movement, boxing, and brawling skills without having to worry about being knocked out by the human heavy bag standing across the ring. I say exhibition because a boxing match generally requires two living boxers, not one boxer and one guy who fights like a homeless person dragged in off the street to take a beating for $50 worth of crack rock and a ham sandwich.