By Robert Coster
“He’s one of the best prospects I have ever trained,” says veteran trainer Stacey McKinley speaking about his young junior welterweight Amir Imam ( 11-0, 10 KOs) and such words coming from a man who has been the trainer of world champions like Mike Tyson, Ricardo Mayorga, Tony Tucker and Samuel Peters have to be taken seriously. The 22-year-old Imam, originally from Albany, NY, is training under McKinley in Florida and is under a promotional contract with Don King. Amir turned pro in 2011 with an impressive amateur background consisting of a 98-14 record with 5 consecutive New York state Golden Gloves titles, being a finalist at the 2010 PAL Nationals and an Olympic alternate.
“What I like about this young man,” says McKinley, “is that he is so well-rounded, the perfect boxer-puncher combining skills and lethal power. He does not waste punches and chops down his opponents in a methodical manner.”
With only 8 fights under his belt, Imam got national TV exposure on Showbox the Next Generation on April 12th against Jeremy Bryan 16-2, a former National Golden Gloves champion. The young man from Albany dismantled the more experienced Bryan in just two rounds.
What is now in store for Imam?
McKinley tells us “Amir is scheduled to fight again on Showbox in December. After that we are going to move him quickly in 2014, putting him in line for title contention.”
Robert Coster is an excellent judge of boxing talent. To date five young fighters from his “New Faces” series have gone on to win world titles (Tomoki Kameda, Evgeny Gradovich, Johan Perez, Nicholas Walters and now Ruslan Provodnikov).