Amir Imam took a risk scheduling a fight with Adrian Granados, and it came back to bite him tonight in Quebec City, as he was dominated after a great opening round, and stopped in round eight by the upset-minded Granados, who has graduated from tough gatekeeper to legitimate threat at 140 pounds.
Imam (18-1, 15 KO) was the mandatory challenger for Viktor Postol coming into this fight, but that's gone now. Granados (17-4-2, 12 KO) came back from a vicious first round knockdown to outwork Imam and wear the favored prospect out, eventually battering him into near submission when referee Alain Villeneuve stepped in to stop the bout at 2:34 of the eighth round.
BLH gave Granados every round after the first, and had him leading 68-64 at the time of stoppage. He was up on two judges' scorecards when the fight was stopped, and the third was even. The 26-year-old Granados had given tough nights to Felix Diaz and Brad Solomon in recent fights, losing narrow decisions to both, and tonight he was able to sucker Imam into exactly the sort of fight that gave Granados a chance, a volume war with Granados throwing a ton of punches, outlanding Imam and working him into an empty gas tank. Down the stretch, Granados was plain beating up on Imam, and the referee's stoppage was certainly understandable, as Imam was getting rocked around and taking a lot of punishment.
This is a huge win for Granados, and may set him up for something significant soon. For Imam, it's obviously a big setback, but nothing he can't learn from, either. Granados is a good fighter, and sort of put it all together tonight. Imam is still very talented, a wicked puncher, and can come back from this.
Oscar Rivas TKO-2 Joey Abell
Heavyweight veteran Abell took the fight on about a week's notice, replacing Curtis Harper, and did about the normal job he's done in fights like this in his career. Abell's not a bad fighter and has real power, but he's always had chin issues, and the beard betrayed him again. After a fairly slow first round, Rivas (18-0, 13 KO) jumped on Abell (31-9, 29 KO) and finished him early in round two -- 46 seconds in to be exact. Here's the finish: