Top welterweight Jamal “Shango” James won an exciting unanimous decision over Thomas Dulorme to capture the Interim WBA Welterweight Title Saturday night in the main event of of FOX PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes, from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
“I’ve been working so long for a title shot,” said James. “So being able to get this opportunity and then actually following through and winning, it just meant the world to me. It’s been a crazy journey, with this with COVID-19, and then the George Floyd incident and starting camps and then stopping and so forth.
“My grandmother ended up passing away when I was in camp for this fight. So it was a lot of mixed emotions for me. It just feels good to be able to bring this back home for my city. Now we’ll see how much farther I can go.”
James (27-1, 12 KOs) and Dulorme (25-4-1, 16 KOs) began the fight showing different styles, with James circling and fighting off his jab, while Dulorme looked to navigate the space and hit James with short power hooks. In round three, the action stepped up a level, with James landing a series of big combinations while bleeding from the nose after taking a big right hand from Dulorme at the end of round two.
“I landed a good shot on him in the second round, but I couldn’t land it again,” said Dulorme. “I couldn’t get inside on him the way that I wanted to after that round, and that made it a tough fight.”
Both men had good moments when the fight went to round six, with each landing dangerous combinations. First Dulorme who appeared to hurt James with body punches early in the round before James returned with a series of sweeping hooks that connected unanswered on Dulorme. The power punches from James would prove to be a weapon throughout, as he connected on 156 compared to Dulorme’s 99, according to CompuBox.
“Dulorme brought the heat tonight,” said James. “I thought I was going to be able to move around a little bit more but he caught me with a couple of nice shots. He caught me with a good shot on the nose and it started leaking pretty bad. He’s a strong fighter, so I just had to be careful not to get hit too flush with anything. Luckily, I’m able to take a hard shot.
“I knew that he kind of gets tired in the later rounds from the fights that we watched. So, I was really just trying to let him throw, stop the shots, then maybe catch him with something in between his shots. I kind of wanted to rope a dope him a little bit. But he was in shape. He was pushing in those later rounds.”
When the fight neared the championship rounds, James’ sharpshooting kept him in control as he moved away from Dulorme’s inside attack and landed his own power punches from distance. Dulorme’s best offensive weapon was his bruising body attack, which saw him out land James 57 to 45 on body punches.
Dulorme’s left eye began to swell from the onslaught of straight right hands as round 11 neared a close. James remained effective through round 12, clinching the victory and winning the fight by scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113. Both men were very active, each throwing over 770 punches, but it was James holding the advantage in both punches landed (204 to 115) and accuracy (26% to 15%).
“Obviously, I would like to get a shot at Manny Pacquiao, he’s got the WBA super title,” said James. “But I know he’s such a big name, so it really doesn’t matter. I want any of the big name welterweights, we can really put on a good show.”
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