World rated welterweight contenter Jamal “Shango” James (22-1, 10 KO’s) will be the centerpiece of boxing’s return in a big way to Minneapolis on April 13th, 2018. In less than three weeks, James will box 26-year-old Abel Ramos (18-2-2, 13 KOs) of Phoenix, Arizona at the recently revamped Minneapolis Armory. The rock star/knockout venue is minutes away from James’ lifelong gym at the Circle Of Discipline. Joining “Shango” on the show are undefeated teammates Ve Shawn Owens and Celso Ramirez, both fighting of Minneapolis. Other local fighters in action include Ramiro Hernandez (Cleveland, Ohio), Uriel Lara (Coon Rapids), Marlin Sims (Minneapolis), Trevor Marmon (Duluth) and Zach Juulola (Minneapolis). The main bouts will be televised live on Fox Sports 1.
James had steadily worked himself into contender status with solid wins over Juan Abreu, Javier Molina, Wale Omotoso, and Jo Jo Dan. But it was his spectacular knockout win over Diego Chaves last December that catapulted him into the #4 spot in the WBA’s stacked welterweight rankings.
The Minnesota State welterweight champion James has accepted another tough test in his 10-round welterweight clash with Abel Ramos. Ramos has made a name for himself with a “warrior” approach each time he steps into the ring.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to compete on this platform and to show the nation and the world that Minnesota has great fighters and an enthusiastic fan base for boxing,” James told PBC. “Abel Ramos is a tough guy who will come to fight, but coming off the big win over Chaves, I’m in a position in my career where I’m trying to reach that world championship level. I have to continue to demonstrate the ability to perform under pressure in difficult fights. I know he’s coming to pull off an upset, but that’s not happening.”
Ve Shawn “Blankman” Owens (9-0, 9 KO’s) of Minneapolis, MN will be fighting alongside James in another televised fight. Owens will be stepping up (literally) to face towering super welterweight Sebastian “The Towering Inferno” Fundora (8-0, 4 KO’s) of West Palm Beach, Florida. At 6’6″, Owens says that Fundora is the tallest 154 pounder in the world and plans on chopping him down when the two undefeated prospects meet.
“I’m pretty excited that PBC Boxing is giving us the opportunity to showcase our skills here in our very own city. Me and my brothers have been hoping for a chance like this to fight on TV in front of our hometown. Our Minnesota people are going to love the show, I guarantee it. As far as my opponent, well.. he’s 6 ‘6”. That’s right, he’s 6 ‘6”. The tallest 154 pounder in the world. When they told me his height, I said “Oh yeah, let me chop that tree down”. Plus, this fight is on air as well. He’s young, has some skills, likes to scrap on the inside. But he’s nothing special besides the height. He’s an undefeated fighter and I know he’s hungry. I’m expecting fireworks.”
20-year-old super welterweight prospect Celso “El Niño” Ramirez (6-0, 6 KO’s) of Minneapolis, MN will box Missouri’s Brandon Baue (12-12, 10 KO’s) in an off television bout. Baue fought in Minnesota against Cerresso Fort back in 2012. This will be Ramirez’ biggest challenge as a pro and the Minnesotan says he will make the most of the opportunity.
“I have been waiting for an opportunity like this since I was six years old. And fourteen years later, here it is. I am very blessed I to be fighting and putting on a show with my older brothers Jamal James and Ve Shawn Owens. I am very grateful for getting an opportunity like this. Fans can expect from “El Niño” a really strong storm that will be hitting the Armory in Minneapolis on April 13th. So check the forecast. that being said, don’t forget your raincoat, an umbrella because El Niño is back!
Southpaw Marlin Sims (1-0, 1 KO) of Minneapolis, MN won his pro debut earlier this month and looks to make it two in a row against Duluth, MN’s Trevor Marmon (2-8-1, 2 KO’s) in a four round lightweight bout. It will be Marmon’s farewell fight as the five-year fight veteran plans to hang up the gloves following the fight.
“Right now I’m just super excited with how things are going” said Sims. “It’s only the beginning and I want to keep going forward. I truely want to face people who are higher ranked then me so I can climb up the rankings and fight more meaningful fights.”
“I’m glad to be and honored to be fighting again” said Marmon. “I have had some personal things to take care over this past year, like getting married, but I’m hungry and feel physically and mentally ready for this fight. I want to finish on a good note. This will be my last fight as a professional and then I will be retiring. Any outcome, win, loss or draw, I’m prepared to go the distance.”
The co-featured TV bout pits rugged veteran Edner Cherry in a lightweight clash against talented Dennis Galarza in a 10-round bout. Austin Dulay and Chris Colbert clash in an eight-round match between unbeaten super featherweight prospects that kicks off the broadcast. Also appearing on the card is sensational 17-year-old 154-pound prospect Joey Spencer (1-0, 1 KO), a former No. 1 ranked amateur and nine-time national champion.
This event marks the return of boxing to The Armory – a first in over 45 years! Our historic building hosted over 100 cards between 1915 and 1973, including a show headlined by all-time great Sugar Ray Robinson in 1942.