Amir Imam highlights Bermane Stiverne-Chris Arreola undercard
LOS ANGELES – Heavyweights Bermane Stiverne and Chris Arreola put on a hell of a show for the fans gathered at the Galen Center on USC’s campus and those watching on ESPN, but there were other fights on the card.
In the co-featured bout of the Goossen Promotions/Don King Productions show, junior welterweight prospect Amir Imam remained undefeated with an eight-round unanimous decision over 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Yordenis Ugas that was harder fought than the scores of 79-73 and 78-74 (twice) indicate.
Ugas (15-3, 7 knockouts), a 27-year-old boxer from Miami, Fla., by way of Cuba, took the early rounds by outworking the talented New Yorker behind steady pressure. Ugas rocked Imam in the final seconds of the opening round.
However, Imam, boxed well behind his jab and was able to twist and block many of Ugas’ punches on the inside. The 23-year-old native of Albany, N.Y., who fights out of Davie, Fla., also fought well of the ropes, but he didn’t really put it together until the middle rounds of the fight when his combination punching and body shots finally forced Ugas to retreat a bit.
“I was very happy with performance,” said Imam, who buzzed Ugas with a right at the end of Round 4 and appeared to hurt the Cuban in Round 7. “I was able to do exactly what we worked on in the gym in there. I give myself 7 out of 10.”
The two junior welterweights went tit for tat in the eighth and final round. Both fighters were rocked. Imam says he was fine and he’s ready to fight again – soon.
“My hands are fine, I could fight tomorrow,” he said. “I want to fight a top-10 guy next.”
In another bout involving a junior welterweight prospect in tough, Abel Ramos struggled to a majority draw against once-beaten Levan Ghvamichava. Ramos (9-0-2, 5 KOs) boxed well for three rounds but suffered a nasty cur on the side of his right eye that bled for the rest of the fight, which Ghvamichava (11-1-1, 8 KOs) gradually took over with steady pressure and combination punching. The more mature fighter from Poti, George walked the fading Ramos, of Phoenix, Arizona, down in the final two rounds of the bout, which was scored 59-55 for Ramos with two even scores of 57-57.
Heavyweight up-and-comer Eric Molina scored a fifth-round TKO of former title challenger DaVarryl Williamson. Most observers thought the stoppage was somewhat premature. Molina (21-2, 15 KOs), of Raymondville, Texas, hurt Williamson (27-8, 23 KOs) with a body shot in Round 5.
Former cruiserweight contender BJ Flores, who has been doing an excellent job as a commentator for NBC Sports Net’s Fight Night series in recent years (but hasn’t been fighting, started the night off with a rust-shaking first-round stoppage of undersized Adam Collins.
Flores (29-1-1, 18 KOs), of Las Vegas by way of Ozark, Mo., iced Collins (12-10, 8 KOs), of Portsmouth, Ohio, with a one-two combination.
Giant but very raw heavyweight hopeful Razvan Cojanu, of Van Nuys, Calif. by way of Romania stopped undersized Rodricka Ray in the fifth round of their scheduled six-round bout.
Cojanu (10-1, 5 KOs) dropped Ray (5-7-1, 2 KOs) with a body shot in Round 5 and then overwhelmed the pesky journeyman from Memphis, Tenn., to a technical stoppage at 2:51 of the round.
Pro debuting middleweight Caleb Hunter Plant made quick work of Travis Davidson, starching the Virginia journeyman with one right hand 40 seconds into the opening round of their scheduled four rounder.
It was clear from the start of the “contest” that Davidson (2-3, 2 KOs) has no business being in the ring and should not be licensed to box professionally.