Welterweight contender Thomas Dulorme (25-4-1, 16 KOs) gave Jamal James (27-1, 12 KOs) an extraneous look just before the bell rang for their WBA interim title clash at the Microsoft Theater, in Los Angeles, California.
With 12 years of pro experience under his belt, the France native seen it all. Matchups with Terence Crawford, Yordenis Ugas and Jessie Vargas left the 30 year old contender believing that there was nothing new that James could show him on the night. Unfortunately for him however, his assumption was wrong.
Both men came out of the gates fast. Dulorme opted against his usual boxing on the outside routine and instead implemented an aggressive game plan. In the early goings, it worked. James found himself with little space to work his jab and combinations and was repeatedly tagged.
Things were looking promising for Dulorme, but while he appeared to have one eye on the interim WBA title, James gave him all of his attention.
The 32 year old James came out more aggressive in the third round. He tagged his man with shots while he continued to push forward. The nonstop pressure of Dulorme which served him well in the beginning, became his detriment as he walked into countless shots.
The midway point of their contest saw Dulorme crank things up a notch. With the 30 year old pushing his chips to the middle of the table, the fight began to turn in his favor. James, who boxed well up until this point, found himself hit with shots that appeared to be ubiquitous.
While the success was obvious, Dulorme began to sport an unnerved look as James figured him out. The remainder of their contest was played on his terms as he dictated most of the action. Dulorme never gave up, but he was never able to reach into his bag of tricks and pull out a second game plan.
For James, he was simply one step ahead of his man and the judges rewarded him on the night. After 12 fairly competitive rounds, all three judges scoring the bout had the same man winning. Their scorecards were as followed: 115-113, 116-112 and 117-111 all in favor of James.
Final Grade For Jamal James: A+
The performance by Jamal James tonight wasn’t breathtaking. He scraped by a decent contender and managed to pick up a piece of gold that is seemingly given out by the WBA every fight night.
Jamal James is a very good fighter. Great however, is yet to be seen. But his grade goes far beyond his performance in the ring.
The Minnesota native has seen his city go through some of its toughest times in recent history. The passing of George Floyd due to police brutality didn’t just shine a light on the shadows that have covered up racism in this nation for far too long, but it shined a light on the entire world.
Racial injustices and police brutality are as real as these words on this very screen, but too many times it is swept under the rug. Now, for better or worse, that proverbial rug has been yanked away for good.
For James, his city needed this.
The possession of a world title won’t overshadow the issues going on in Minnesota and across the world, but it does give the Twin cities someone of color to be proud of.