By Sean Wippert ringside in Las Vegas: Amir Imam showed everyone in attendance at the Treasure Island hotel and casino why he had the nickname “Young Master.” The super lightweight from Pompamo Beach, Florida showcased a lethal combination of speed and accuracy against Jeremy “Hollywood” Bryan.
Imam opened the bout with a good jab attack, pressing it forward with exceptional effect. The shots kept Bryan off balance and continually guessing where the next one coming from. Although he landed attacks in return, he caught more than he received.
The fight came to a quick and brutal end when Imam landed a crushing right hand to Bryan’s head. The shot sent him off his feet and out for the night. It was officially called by referee Vic Drakulich at the 2:13 mark of the second round. With the knockout Imam improves to 9-0 with now 8 knockouts. The loss moves to Bryan to 16-3 with 7 knockouts.
The middle of the night saw a light heavyweight elimination bout. At stake was a number one ranking and mandatory shot at the WBA title. The fight showcased St. Louis’ own Ryan “The Irish Outlaw” Coyne as he took on Marcus Oliveira from Lawrence, Kansas.
The fight opened timidly and for the first few rounds it appeared like neither man was willing to pull the trigger. It wasn’t until the third when Coyne began committing to a jab offensive that things got moving. He attacked and moved around the ring, evading and firing from numerous angles.
This trend continued on into the middle rounds as Coyne jabbed and poked while keeping just out of Oliviera’s range. The effect was an off balanced looking Oliviera who at times even looked lost for an answer. When he did attack, his shots seemed just a bit away from where he wanted them to be. He was landing, but not with the damage he was hoping for.
It wasn’t until the sixth round that Oliveira seemed to finally find his spot. He fired shots began firing shots at close range, pushing through Coyne’s jab attack as if wasn’t there. Coyne increased his jab attack in response. As the later rounds clicked by, both men finally showed the crowd just how bad they wanted the top contender status.
In the twilight rounds of bout Oliveira unleashed some of the hardest shots of the night. The thundering hits took instant effect, staggering and slowing Coyne’s once mobile demeanor. This led to an opening in his defense that proved costly. Oliveira landed a left hook in the early part of the eleventh that sent Coyne onto the canvas.
“The Irish Outlaw” got back to his feet but found himself back on the floor shortly after when another series of heavy shots caught him again. Referee Jay Nady had seen enough and called an end to the fight. The match was officially stopped at the 1:15 mark of the 11th round.
With the win Oliveira now improves to 25-0-1 with now 20 knockouts and takes the title of #1 contender in the WBA light heavyweight division. The tough loss gives Coyne his first professional defeat, sending him to 21-1 with 9 knockouts.
In super welterweight action, Floridia native “Magic” Marcus Willis took home a hard fought victory over “King” James De La Rosa. De La Rosa attacked him hard shots from the opening bell, forcing Willis to get into a counterpunchers mentality. The scrappy fighter from Ft. Meyers, FL weathered a lot of early pressure.
This was an effective strategy for Willis as much of the damage from De La Rosa seemed to glance off him or miss their mark. Willis slowly wound this into a offensive momentum. By the middle part of the fight he was not only evading, but returning fire with heavy shots. The more he succeeded in this the more his attack increased until evolving into an all-out assault on De La Rosa.
As the fight came to s close, De La Rosa did his best to keep up with his opponent, making the last few rounds very exciting. When the final bell sounded however it was all in favor of Willis with scores of 76-76, 77-75, and 78-74. With the unanimous win Willis improves to 13-2-2 with 3 knockouts. The tough loss sends De La Rosa to 21-2 with 12 knockouts.
The opening bout of the evening saw heavyweight Trevor “American Dream” Bryan earn a unanimous decision over Alvaro Morales. The former 2011 US Olympic alternate from Albany, NY pulled out a good win with scores of 60-54, 59-55, and 58-56 to remain undefeated. With the win he improves to 7-0 with 5 knockouts and sends Morales to 6-13-6.
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