Stiverne vs Wilder undercard breakdown

Joseph Herron Updated
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Although most fight fans are anxiously awaiting tonight's brilliant WBC Heavyweight title fight between incumbent champion Bermane Stiverne (24-1-1, 21 KOs) and undefeated knock-out artist Deontay Wilder (32-0, 32 KOs), die-hard boxing fans won't want to miss the two potentially explosive bouts slated to open the Showtime Championship Boxing presentation. The live broadcast, headlined by Stiverne vs Wilder, is slated to begin at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT, with Super Lightweight talent Amir "The Young Master" Imam (15-0, 13 KOs) vs. Fidel Madonado Jr. (19-2, 16 KOs) kicking off the action.

The co-main event of the evening will feature two-division world champion Leo Santa Cruz (28-0-1, 16 KOs) vs. Jesus Ruiz (33-5-5, 22 KOs).

Here's the FightSaga breakdown of this evening's televised undercard action!!

(-591) Amir Imam (15-0, 13 KOs) vs. (+448) Fidel Madonado Jr. (19-2, 16 KOs)
10 rounds for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Super Lightweight title

On paper, this undercard match-up should be a delight for most fight fans, pitting the volume punching aggressor (Maldonado) against the sharp-shooting, counter puncher (Imam). Although anything can and often does happen in the ring, this pairing appears to be two hungry, young prospects at two different levels in their respective careers.

Despite being a bit more battle tested, Maldonado doesn't seem to have the same athleticism, power, speed, and reflexes of the "Young Master" from Albany, New York.

Imam is a genuine blue-chip prospect who has somewhat flown under the 140 pound radar, largely due to his lack of opportunities with Hall of Fame promoter Don King. Despite possibly being the greatest promoter in the history of the sport,

"Old Don" just isn't as active as he once was and no longer has the kind of influence with the networks or sanctioning organizations.

But his relative inactivity shouldn't keep the talented, 5'11" beast from the Empire State from doing his thing in the ring this evening.

Look for this bout to eerily play out like Broner vs. DeMarco in 2012, with Imam causing many "problems" for the warrior from New Mexico, Fidel Maldonado Jr.

For the style match-up and probable fireworks, FightSaga scores this Super Lightweight special feature a rating of three out of five stars!! ***

(-3850) Leo Santa Cruz (28-0-1, 16 KOs) vs. (+2250) Jesus Ruiz (33-5-5, 22 KOs)
12 rounds for the WBC Super Bantamweight Championship

In Golden Boy's co-main event from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, one of best young fighters in boxing will make his return to the ring and defend his WBC 122 pound title against the ostensibly underwhelming Jesus Ruiz.

Although Leo Santa Cruz is projected to become one of boxing's biggest stars within the next few years, the 26 year old, "Teremoto" has received a great amount of scrutiny as of late. Largely because of his declining rate of activity and his selection of recent opposition.

In 2012, the two division world champion fought five times against Alejandro Hernandez, Vusi Malinga, Eric Morel, Victor Zaleta, and previously undefeated Alberto Guevara. In 2013, Santa Cruz fought three times against Alexander Munoz, Victor Terrazas, and Cesar Seda.

In 2014, the budding star only fought twice. Once in March against former world champion Cristian Mijares, and most recently in a one-sided mismatch against Manuel Roman in September.

Most fight fans have been anxiously waiting to see Santa Cruz step in the ring with the other perceived best fighters of the Super Bantamweight or Featherweight divisions, and widely view tonight's match-up with Ruiz as another disappointment.

Will we finally get to see Leo Santa Cruz in the ring with names like Abner Mares, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Carl Frampton, or Scott Quigg in 2015?

Despite competing in another expected mismatch in this evening's co-main event, fight fans should find solace in merely seeing one of boxing's best fighters compete on the big stage once again.

Fight Saga scores tonight's WBC Super Bantamweight title fight between Leo Santa Cruz and Jesus Ruiz a rating of three out of five stars, due to the all action style match-up but disparity in level. ***

Will either of these matches be more exciiting than the main event, Stiverne vs Wilder?


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