Top 10 ranked super lightweight contender Amir Imam (16-0, 14 KOs) will aim to move one step closer to a world title opportunity when he makes his second start of 2015 against fellow power-puncher Walter Castillo (25-2, 18 KOs) in the 10-round co-feature of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING on Saturday, April 18, LIVE on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT)
In the main event from StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., Mexican superstar Julio Cesar Chavez (48-1-1, 32 KOs) faces exciting brawler Andrzej Fonfara (26-3, 15 KOs), of Chicago by way of Poland, in a 12-round light heavyweight bout.
One of boxing’s fastest-rising prospects, the 24-year-old Imam has knocked out 14 of his 16 professional opponents since turning pro in 2011. The Albany, N.Y., native is coming off a fifth-round TKO of Fidel Maldonado Jr., in a brawl on Jan. 17 on SHOWTIME that featured five total knockdowns. Imam, currently ranked No. 4 in the WBA and No. 7 in the WBC, touched the canvas for the first time in his career but bounced back and relied on his power to floor Maldonado a total of four times.
“I know Walter is a tough fighter, he comes forward and throws a lot of punches,” Imam said. “But I will figure him out quickly once I get inside the ring. I’m working on a lot of different things for this training camp, lots of tricky moves that are going to excite the fans. It’s great to fight outdoors at StubHub Center and to showcase my talents on SHOWTIME. I’m here to entertain and prove I’m ready for that title shot.”
Castillo (25-2, 18 KOs), of Managua, Nicaragua, has won nine straight and KO’d six of his last seven opponents. The 26-year-old has fought mostly in Nicaragua and the only blemishes on his record are a split-decision loss in his pro debut and a controversial 2008 split decision on the road against former world champ Vicente Mosquera in Panama. Castillo, who has knocked out his last four opponents inside of four rounds, will make his second start in the U.S. after winning his American debut via first round TKO last October.
“I’m very excited for this fight. I’ve been training hard for months now and can’t wait for the bell to ring,” Castillo said. “Where I’m from we have a history of great warriors like Alexis Arguello and Rosendo Alvarez and on April 18 I’m looking to moving one step closer to adding my name to that list. Imam may be undefeated, but I’m ready for a war.”