At the age of 27, Amir is a six-year pro. The WBCâ€™s No. 1 ranked mandatory world title challenger at 140 pounds, he was an accomplished amateur before his debut.
He has won three fights in a row, all by knockout, since his only loss in November, 2015.
In his last fight on November 11 in Fresno, California, Amir won by fourth-round TKO against Johnny Garcia.
ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael reported from ringside [excerpts]: Amir Imam dominated and stopped Johnny Garcia in the fourth round to clear the final hurdle to a world title fight.
The Don King-promoted Imam won his third fight in a rowâ€¦. Garcia gave him no issues. Imam broke him down with a stiff jab and steady body attack.
In the fourth round, Imam nailed Garcia with a right hand to the head that dropped him to one knee. Garcia was up at the count of eight and survived the rest of the round, but when it was over [the] referee waved off the fight in the corner.
Imam is the mandatory challenger for one of the 140-pound world titles recently vacated by undisputed world champion Terence Crawford to move up in weight. Imam was ordered to face main-event fighter Jose Ramirez, so to keep them on the same schedule, Imam was added to his undercard against Garcia in a tune-up. [End Rafael item]
Amir said, “Jose is a really good, tough opponent, and I know what I’ve got to do to get the win.
“I never knew Jose in the amateurs. I know he was at the Trials and went to the Olympics, but I was in a different weight class than him. I never ran into him as a pro, either.
“This is a tough fight for both of us, so the best man will take the ‘W.’ Boxing needs great fights like this.
“Be sure to tune in to see it â€“ ‘And the new!’ ”
In an earlier interview, Amir said, “My style â€“ entertaining. I come to fight and I put on a show. I take care of business â€“ you don’t get paid for overtime. I can do it all. I can be a pressure fighter, a boxer, whatever I need, I can push it up. You’ve got to adapt to what’s in front of you â€“ that’s all it is.
“I can’t let nobody take this away from me. This is how I eat. My dream is coming true. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time.
“My coach, Stacy, gave me my nickname. There is an old-school fighter named Joe Gans and his nickname was the ‘Old Master.’ I just switched it up and put it to the Young Master. A lot of the things I do in the ring â€“ I got a lot of good technical skills and stuff like that.”
AMATEUR, PERSONAL BACKGROUND: Amir said, “I was born and raised in Albany, New York. I have one brother and two sisters. My mother is a CPS worker â€“ Child Protective Service. My dad works in a restaurant. He’s the supervisor in the kitchen, or something like that. I’m the only boxer in the family â€“ just me myself.
“I wanted to start boxing when I was 11, but the age limit at my gym was 12 so that’s when I started. A good friend of mine named Ricardo Caldwell, he used to go to the gym. I just started out one day, and ever since then I’ve been in love with it.
“I had about 95 amateur fights, 99, somewhere around there. I had about 85 wins and probably 16 losses. I can’t remember exactly.
“I competed in a lot of national tournaments â€“ the Junior Olympics, the Silver Gloves, the Golden Gloves.
“I boxed as an amateur for eight or nine years, then I went to the Olympic Trials. I lost in the finals and after that, I was ready to go pro. I got connected with Stacey McKinley and Don King and ever since then, there’s been nothing but good things. I turned pro at 20 and I moved to Florida.
“I’m naturally right-handed. I’m single, no kids.
“A bunch of people from my family are coming to the fight â€“ my cousins, my sisters, my brothers, my mother and my aunts. The fight is in New York, and I have a lot of support from where I come from. I’ve got family there, and I know it’s a lot of people in Albany, too.”…
2011 U.S. OLYMPIC TRIALS â€“ Mobile, Alabama, 152 pounds â€“ SILVER MEDALIST: in his first fight on 7-31-11 he won a 27-23 decision against Luis Olivares of Glendale, Ariz.; in his second fight on 8-1-11 he won a 40-10 decision against Arturo Trujillo of Easton, Penn.; in the quarterfinals on 8-3-11 he lost a 19-12 decision against Errol Spence of DeSoto, Tex.; in the challengers’ bracket finals on 8-4-11 he won a 31-23 decision against Samuel Vazquez of Ft. Carson, Colo.; in the finals on 8-5-11 he lost a 24-19 decision against Errol Spence of DeSoto, Tex….
2011 U.S. NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS â€“ Colorado Springs, Colorado, 141 pounds: in his first fight on 6-20-11 he lost a 14-9 decision against Thomas Duquette of Waltham, Mass….
2011 NATIONAL GOLDEN GLOVES CHAMPIONSHIPS â€“ Colorado Springs Colorado, 141 pounds: in his first fight on 4-25-11 he won a decision against Andy Vences of California; in his second fight on 4-27-11 he won a decision against Samuel Teah of Pennsylvania; in the quarterfinals on 4-29-11 he lost a decision against George Rincon of Texas…
2010 NATIONAL PAL CHAMPIONSHIPS â€“ San Antonio, Texas, 141 pounds â€“ SILVER MEDALIST: in his first fight on 10-6-10 he stopped Davonn Boone at 1:38 of the 2nd round; in his second fight on 10-7-10 he won a 10-0 decision against Justin Pauldo of Orlando Fla.; in the quarterfinals on 10-8-06 he won a 7-2 decision against Ronald Gibbs of Baltimore, Md.; in the semifinals on 10-9-10 he won a 9-5 decision against Abel Ramos of Eloy, Ariz.; in the finals on 10-10-10 he lost a 9-3 decision against Pedro Sosa of Bronx, N.Y….
2005 SILVER GLOVES CHAMPIONSHIPS â€“ 85 pounds/14-15 year-old division â€“ GOLD MEDALIST [incomplete results]: in the finals on 2-3-05 he defeated Antwuan Smalls of Marinette, Wisc….
STRENGTHS: Has good skills and movementâ€¦has good punching powerâ€¦had a strong amateur backgroundâ€¦
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: 6 years, 4 monthsâ€¦22 fightsâ€¦81 total roundsâ€¦
AVERAGE LENGTH OF BOUTS: 3.6 roundsâ€¦
KNOCKOUT PERCENTAGE: of total fights â€“ 81 %…of wins â€“ 85 %…
DISTANCE FIGHTS: 10 rounds â€“ 1 (1-0)â€¦8 rounds â€“ 2 (2-0)â€¦