The February 22nd Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury rematch has its first supporting act. Amir Imam has been pulled from his January 18th clash with TBA and is now set to face Javier Molina at a 142-pound catchweight.
Molina (21-2, 9 KO) represented the U.S. at the 2008 Games, where he fell in the opening round to former bronze medalist Boris Georgiev. He’s had a decent-if-unspectacular pro career, marred by losses to Artemio Reyes and Jamal James, but did score an impressive 65-second knockout of Hiroki Okada last time out.
He looks to be a solid opponent for Imam (22-2, 19 KO), a former elite prospect still looking to rebuild after some high-profile defeats and a lengthy legal struggle with Don King. “Young Master” made a successful Top Rank debut last November with a fourth-round knockout of Marcos Mojica.
Mutual underachievement aside, this figures to be competitive and could prove fun to watch if the heavy-handed Imam dictates the pace. Still, at least one marquee undercard bout wouldn’t go amiss.