Jamal James: I’m confident I can beat Manny Pacquiao or Keith Thurman
Jamal James is all about opportunities, whether it is in his hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota or anywhere else.
James will attempt to prove why he is one of the best welterweights in boxing today as he squares off against Thomas Dulorme Saturday night at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, California.
The 12-round bout will headline a live three-bout ‘FOX PBC Fight Night’ telecast (8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT).
James (26-1, 12 knockouts) was originally scheduled to face Dulorme on April 11 at The Armory in Minneapolis, but the card was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Saturday will mark Premier Boxing Champions’ first card in over five months.
James’ last four bouts have taken place at The Armory, where near-sellout crowds are the norm when he fights.
Saturday will mark James’ first fight outside Minnesota in over two and a half years. As much as he would like to always fight in his hometown, James was not about to turn down an opportunity to fight on a significant platform.
“It would have been nice to have been able to fight in my hometown, but I’m more blessed to have this opportunity on this stage than I am disappointed,” said James during a conference call with reporters Thursday. “It’s important to be at your best every time you get in the ring, no matter where it is. I was blessed to bring world class events back to Minneapolis, but I’ve fought all over. This is a big fight, but the reality is, every fight before was just as big. If I didn’t get past them, then I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in now.”
James will face Dulorme (25-3-1, 16 KOs), who is originally from the Caribbean island nation of Guadeloupe and now resides in Carolina, Puerto Rico, defeated Terrel Williams by unanimous decision in his last bout on September 21. Williams entered the Dulorme bout unbeaten.
Despite losing to welterweight contender Yordenis Ugas in August 2017 and fighting to a draw against Jessie Vargas in October 2018, James is expecting the best version of Thomas Dulorme on Saturday night.
“He’s a strong fighter and I know that he’s got his own style and tricks, but I have my own too,” said James, who has won his last six bouts since his loss to Ugas in August 2016. “That’s what makes these fights so exciting, because you have to tune in to see which style will prevail. I’m not underestimating him, I know he’s going to be at his best, but my confidence is so high because of how I trained.”
“I’ve studied tapes of Dulorme in both his wins and his losses, especially the Terence Crawford fight (April 2015). I expect the best version of him to fight on Saturday.”
James is currently not ranked in the top 10 by The Ring. His fight against Dulorme is an elimination bout between fighters in the top 10 of the WBA.
The 32-year-old does have modest victories over Javier Molina, Wale Omotoso, Diego Chaves, Abel Ramos, and former world lightweight titleholder Antonio DeMarco, but he believes he is amongst the best fighters at 147 pounds. James hopes to be given an opportunity to face the elite of the division should he come out victorious against Dulorme.
Pacquiao does hold the WBA world title, which he hopes would make a fight against the Filipino superstar easier to make.
“I do believe I’m in the top three best welterweights in boxing. I’ve had some solid wins. I’m confident I can beat the likes of Manny Pacquiao or Keith Thurman. At the worst, I give them a strong challenge.”
“It’s good to be back (in the ring). On Saturday, I’m going to give everyone the fireworks they’ve been waiting for. I’m glad to have this opportunity to be in this first main event back.”
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing