Jamal James eager to end long layoff

Welterweight contender and Minneapolis-native Jamal “Shango” James held a media workout in his hometown Wednesday as he prepares to thrill crowd at The Armory on Saturday, February 25 when he battles 2016 Argentine Olympian Alberto Palmetta in the 10-round co-main event live on Showtime in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and Warriors Boxing, are on sale now and can be purchased at the Armory at http://ArmoryMN.com/ and through Ticketmaster.

James (27-2, 12 KOs) steps into the ring for the first time since a 2021 slugfest against then unbeaten Radzhab Butaev that saw James’ seven-fight winning streak snapped. The 34-year-old returns to fight at The Armory for the fifth time in his career, having won four straight bouts there between April 2018 and July 2019.

Here is what James and his trainer Sankara Frazier had to say Wednesday from the Circle of Discipline gym in Minneapolis:

JAMAL JAMES - “It’s go time. I’ve been itching for this and I’m extremely happy to be fighting back at home. The most important thing for me is just ending this layoff and being in the ring period.

“I know that a lot of eyes will be on me coming off my last fight, but I love the pressure and I deal with it great. It makes me a better fighter. Instead of talking too much about it, I’m just going to show you on February 25.

“The gym is my home and we’ve been home. We’re training in the mornings and training in the evenings. Outside of just doing it for my boxing career, it keeps my body clean, my mind healthy and my spirit up.

“We’ve got an amazing facility here, so there’s no excuses for me not being at the very best of my capabilities when I step into the ring.

“My team keeps me focused during setbacks. We know that we just have to stay focused and eventually the opportunities are gonna come. If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.”

SANKARA FRAZIER, James’ Trainer - “Sometimes it’s not a bad thing to let your body rest. We’ve been at this since Jamal was a kid. This was an opportunity to focus and practice on the smaller things that we’ve wanted to fix. We really believe that it’s the smaller things that truly count.

“There’s always a fire burning in Jamal. He’s one of the guys who keeps that fire going at all times. We have to push it down a little bit sometimes and tell him to take it easy.

“We always look for the best version of Jamal James whenever he steps into the ring. So I’m just looking for the Jamal on February 25 to be better than the last.”

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