The eyes of the boxing world will be on downtown Minneapolis this Friday, April 13, when welterweight contender and Minneapolis native Jamal “Shango” James headlines a nationally televised event at the Minneapolis Armory.
On March 30th, James joined the rest of the local fighters that will be in action to announce the show at The Armory. A second press conference is now set for Wednesday, April 11, from noon to 1:30 p.m. The conference will be held at the Generals Hall on the second floor of the Armory, 500 South 6th St. in downtown Minneapolis. The weigh-in is on Thursday, April 12, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Generals Hall. “Golden” Caleb Truax will also be on hand to talk about his hard-fought rematch against James DeGale.
The April 13 event marks the return of professional boxing to the Armory after a 45-year absence. Steeped in boxing tradition, the Armory hosted scores of boxing cards from the 1930s to the 1970s, featuring such ring legends as Sugar Ray Robinson, Henry Armstrong, and St. Paul’s fighting Flanagan brothers, Glen and Del.
James, winner of 22 of 23 bouts and ranked No. 4 in the world by the World Boxing Association, will take on tough veteran Abel Ramos (18-2-2) of Casa Grande, Arizona, in the main event. A win for James would move him a step closer to his dream of fighting for a world championship.
James said he’s “honored” to be part of an event that’s returning the Armory to its boxing roots.
“I feel very honored to be able to have a venue like this to showcase my skills,” James said. “I am humbled and honored and I’m going to go out there and give it all I’ve got. I’m sure that nobody is going to leave unfulfilled or upset.”
James will be fighting in Minneapolis for the first time since 2013. In recent years, he has scored a string of big wins in boxing hotbeds from California to New York, often fighting in the other guy’s backyard.
The 6-foot, 2-inch boxer-puncher said it feels good to be home.
“It gives you a mental edge,” James said of fighting in front of a friendly audience. “But at the end of the day, once you get in the ring, it doesn’t matter if you are home or where you are at. In boxing, you can’t lie. All truths come out.”
James’ most recent fight was an electrifying third-round knockout of highly ranked contender Diego Chaves. With the win, he solidified his position as a force to reckon with in the welterweight division.
The Minneapolis native faces another tough test in the April 13 clash with Ramos, and he’s not taking the challenge lightly.
“He’s a strong fighter. He’s going to come to fight. He knows it’s my hometown and I’m sure he would love to upset me. I would love to upset anybody if I was fighting in their backyard. So I expect him to come to fight hard and I’m prepared for it,” he said.
The James-Ramos fight is the main event of Premier Boxing Champions on FOX & FOX Deportes. The telecast begins at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Also on the card, rugged veteran Edner Cherry will battle rising lightweight Dennis Galarza in a 10-round bout and Austin Dulay and Chris Colbert clash in an eight-round match between unbeaten super featherweight prospects.
A showdown between unbeaten super welterweights highlights undercard action as Sebastian Fundora (8-0, 4 KOs) meets Minnesota’s Veshawn Owens (9-0, 9 KOs) in an eight-round bout.
Sensational 17-year-old 154-pound prospect Joey Spencer (1-0, 1 KO), a former No. 1 ranked amateur and nine-time national champion, will also appear. In addition, veteran contender Haskell Rhodes returns to action to take on Wisconsin’s Mikey Fowler in a six-round lightweight showdown.
Also entering the ring on April 13 are a trio of unbeaten Minneapolis-natives as Marlin Sims faces Carl Currie from Posen, Illinois in a four-round lightweight bout, Celso Ramirez battles Brandon Baue in a four-round super welterweight contest and Giezwa Pierre Hobbs takes on Raymond Chaco for a four-round super featherweight duel.
In a four-round super welterweight fight, Uriel Lara of Coon Rapids battles Thomas Amaro.
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