Its A-Bout Boxing

Amir Imam ready for next step.

amir-imam-v-fidel-maldonado

EL PASO, Texas — Much of the attention for Saturday’s boxing extravaganza at the Don Haskins Center has centered around super middleweight and former middleweight champ Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and super bantamweight star Carl Frampton.

However, junior welterweight Amir Imam (17-0, 14 knockouts) is a young fighter on the rise and is one of the best prospects in the world with his sights set on a world title. In fact, his world title elimination fight with Fernando Angulo was added to the Showtime broadcast and will be the opening bout of the three-fight card that will be aired on Showtime, which will give him a chance to showcase his skills.

“I’m excited about the fight on Saturday, I just want to keep improving, keep working hard,” said Imam before his media workout on Wednesday. “My goal in boxing has always been to win a world title. I have a lot of respect for the championship belt and I have a lot of respect for the sport. It’s a tough sport, it’s not for everyone. When I started out many years ago, I went to the gym with others and I was able to stick around.

“I’ve tried to be the best all-around fighter I can be. If the knockout comes that’s great or I am happy with a decision win. I’ve learned so much through my amateur career and my fights as a professional. Every fight is a challenge and I’ve learned something from every one of them.”

Imam, 24, has won 14 of his 17 pro fights by knockout, including a fifth-round stoppage of Fidel Maldonado on the undercard of the heavyweight battle between world champion Deontay Wilder and Bermane Stiverne. The win against Maldonado served as a breakout performance for the young fighter, who grew up in New York but now lives in Florida.

“Amir is a skillful fighter and he’s very good at in variety of areas, that’s why the nickname ‘Young Master’ is suitable for him,” said veteran trainer Stacy McKinley, who has worked with Imam since his amateur career. “Amir has a bright future in this sport. He can do so many things in the ring well. He’s getting better all the time.”

Imam, who turned pro in 2011, had a distinguished amateur career. He won a silver medal at the 2010 National PAL Championships and reached the finals of the 2011 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Imam, who also owns impressive wins against Jared Robinson and Walter Castillo, at one point had 12 consecutive knockouts in his professional career.

He is looking forward to continuing his improvement against Angulo, who is 29-9 with 16 KOs.

“My opponent is a solid fighter and he will present lots of challenges,” he said. “This is basically my title shot right here. This is the biggest fight of my career and I know I can’t mess it up.”

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