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Change Of Opponent For Santana

Undefeated lightweight Angelo “La Cobra” Santana (14-0, 11 KOs), from Miami, Fla., will now face Bahodir Mamadjonov (12-1, 8 KOs), from Uzbekistan now fighting out of Houston, Texas on Friday at Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Las Vegas after his originally scheduled opponent, Carlos Cardenas, bowed out late last week owing to a shoulder injury.


Undefeated super lightweight prospect Amir “Young Master” Imam (8-0, 7 KOs), from Albany, N.Y., will meet Jeremy “Hollywood” Bryan (16-2, 7 KOs), from Paterson, N.J., in the co-feature.


Santana vs. Cardenas was to have been a 12-round contest for the WBA interim lightweight championship. Santana vs. Mamadjonov is scheduled for 10 rounds.


Santana, a 24-year-old southpaw, was a two-time national champion in Cuba before defecting to Miami to follow his dreams of winning a boxing title. He has now earned the WBA’s No. 3 ranking in the 135-pound division. Blessed with heavy hands, he has stopped his last seven opponents in five rounds or less.


In a sensational performance, Santana served notice that he was a force to be reckoned with by registering a third-round technical knockout out over world-class contender Justin Savi on June 23, 2012, at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Fla.


Santana was even more impressive his last fight on ShoBox, scoring a scintillating fifth-round knockout on Nov. 16 over previously undefeated Johnny Garcia—who gained attention in early 2012 by out-pointing Cuban prospect Yordenis Ugas. Santana dropped Garcia three times, one in the first and two in the fifth. He finished Garcia in an Knockout of the Year candidate with a picturesque right-left combination.


Not only will Santana have to adjust to Mamadjonov as a late replacement, he will also have to navigate his southpaw stance. The Uzbekistani native’s biggest fight came against undefeated Darley Perez—who is still undefeated and is ranked No. 3 by the International Boxing Federation. They met on Aug. 10 in California where Mamadjonov gave Perez all he could handle before losing by split-decision. Had Mamadjonov not suffered a knockdown in the eighth round, he may have won the fight.


The eight-round x co-feature showcases two very accomplished amateurs that are gaining notice as professionals. Imam, 22, will be facing his toughest opponent to date in the more experienced Bryan, 27.


The fast-handed power-punching Imam, who had advanced the 2011 U.S. Olympic trials before losing, has won all but one of his professional fights by knockout. Since winning a four-round decision in his debut on Nov. 5, 2011, Imam has won seven fights in a row by knockout, all inside two rounds.


Bryan was a two-time National Golden Gloves Champion and national under-19 champion who notched amateur wins over current unified 140-pound world champion Danny Garcia and Javier Molina in the amateurs. Bryan, a pro since November 2007, is coming off the biggest win of his career, an eight-round unanimous decision over former European champion Yuri Romanov on Jan. 4 in Miami.


In the top non-televised undercard bout, Ryan “The Irish Outlaw” Coyne (21-0, 9 KOs), from St. Louis, and Marcus Oliveira (24-0-1, 19 KOs), from Lawrence, Kan., will collide in a battle of unbeatens in a WBA light heavyweight elimination bout. The two were to have met on the undercard of Bernard Hopkins vs. Tavoris Cloud on March 9 before Coyne suffered a cut during training that resulted in a postponement.


The winner of Coyne vs. Oliveira, scheduled for 12 rounds, will become the No. 1-ranked light heavyweight by the WBA and the mandatory challenger to its champion, Beibut Shumenov.


Coyne gained attention while campaigning as a cruiserweight when he was chosen to participate in the fourth season of The Contender. He made it to the semi-finals before suffering an accidental headbutt that forced him to leave the competition. In his final fight at cruiserweight, Coyne captured the World Boxing Council United States Championship with a unanimous decision over the previously undefeated David McNemar on June 25, 2011.


Coyne is 3-0 since moving down to the 175-pound limit in October 2011.


April 8, 2013

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