Who knew the potential fight of the night on Showtime Saturday might come from Amir Imam-Fidel Maldonado, Jr.? Most have high expectations for the main event, Bermane Stiverne vs. Deontay Wilder, but an unproven junior welterweight prospect had a rollicking up-and-down affair, with Imam stopping Maldanado.
Maldanado surpassed Imam with timing in the 1st, then things started to get wacky in the 2nd. Maldonado wobbled Imam in the 2nd with a right hook, only to get knocked down in the same round by Imam’s own right hand. In the insane 3rd, there were three knockdowns, with Maldonado suffering two of them after starting the sequence. And while Imam might have let Maldonado off the hook a bit in the 4th, he put him down again in the 5th with a right-left combo and Maldonado didn’t recover quite enough for the referee’s tastes to let the bout continue.
It was an unexpected treat. What it says about Imam is difficult to say, since Maldonado is a gritty fighter with no major wins. There did seem to be tools there, length and speed and power among them. Perhaps this is the start of a good thing, one that Imam can build upon. It was, at minimum, an anything-goes kind of party.