Rising welterweight prospect Jamal “Shango” James (20-0, 9 KO’s) of Minneapolis, MN won a hard fought 10 round split decision over Nigerian Wale “Lucky Boy” Omotoso (26-3, 21 KO’s) on Saturday night in Birmingham, Alabama. James fought behind a missile like right hand and his jab also came into play throughout the fight. Omotoso was not able to match James’ boxing ability, but his straight forward aggression and less orthodox power punches made for many close rounds. The taller James boxed from the outside at times and also fought in close quarters where he ducked and weaved away from many of Omotoso’s shots.

James began the fight boxing well before being caught and dropped with a punch just behind the ear by Omotoso with 10 seconds remaining in the first round. James did not look hurt and continued comfortably to the bell. Despite the early knockdown, James stayed calm and outboxed his power punching opponent over the ensuing rounds. A strength of James that has stood out in the past is his ability to adapt and change strategies in a fight as needed. But Omotoso never changed his up so neither did James. Both boxers were highly conditioned and it turned out to be a good showing for both men. James seemed to control the action as a whole but it would be wrong not to give Omotoso credit for having a granite chin and a strong will to win. Each man did well in the 10th, just as they had done in the previous rounds but it was James that put a stamp on another big time fight as he dazed Omotoso in the closing moments of the fight. The two judges seeing the fight for James scored the bout 97-92, 96-94 while another had Omotoso on top 96-93.