By Jesse Kelley


Born and raised in Minneapolis, MN, Jamal James is gearing up for his biggest fight to date; a rematch with the only man to take him the full distance, Hector "Fighting Chihuahua" Orozco. Orozco has 16 pro fights to his name while putting the first loss on several of Minnesota's rising stars records, and doing so against opponents with a combined record of 173 wins 11 losses and 1 draw at the time he faced them. James, who is a decorated name locally because of his accomplishments both in and out of the ring will be looking to one up his heated toe to toe win against Orozco in 2011 on the upcoming June 23rd boxing show at the Black Bear Casino in Carlton, MN. Both James and Orozco felt they won the first fight and James says he will leave no doubts as to who wins this time around. Dubbed "Welcome To The Jungle", James and Orozco will be battling for the Jungle Boy Boxing promoted vacant MN State Welterweight Title. The bout will be the main supporter to the clash between Cerresso Fort and Dave Peterson.

James started boxing at the age of five, began competing at the age of eight and has never looked back. The 6'2 orthodox puncher possesses great hand speed and has learned some clever boxing moves along the way. James won 6 Upper Midwest Golden Gloves Championships, was the 2006 & 2008 national golden gloves bronze medalist, 2008 National P.A.L. Silver medalist, 2009 Golden Gloves silver medalist, 2007 National P.A.L. Gold Medalist, plus 2 ringside national championships throughout the amateur ranks. Jamal had been ranked in the top 10 in the nation of his weight division since 2006, holding the number 1 spot in the process. Despite the success, James said he grew tired of the politics he ran into at times in amateur boxing and says that is the reason why he decided to turn pro when he did in 2010.

Sankara Frazier, head coach of Circle of Discipline is proud of his boxer's accomplishments and supported the move to the next stage of the young boxers career. Frazier sees him as a leader in the gym which is yet another example of how James is making an impact not only while being gloved up in the ring, but to the boxer's that surround him.

"Jamal is a great example for the young boxers in the gym. Jamal is also a personal and group trainer at a new state of the art fitness facility in Minnetonka, MN called GymJab which will be opening in August." said Frazier.

Now with a pro record of (5-0, 4 KO's), James says he is ready to face the top welterweights in the state. And next up is the rematch with Orozco. But picking up a second win over the scrappy Orozco has proven to be a tough task. Locals Tony Lee, RJ Laase, Jeremy McLaurin, and Danny Figueroa have all beaten but also lost to Orozco along the way. But James feels confident that he will be the first to sweep Orozco.

"I am much more prepared for this bout than I was the last time I boxed Hector" said James. "He caught me with some shots and pushed me in the fight, but I still won. Don't get me wrong, I like the guy. He's a cool dude, but if you saw the two of us after our last fight you'd have no question who won the fight. It was all over our faces. Mine, just like it is now. His was marked up."

Part of Jamal James' recent surge in confidence comes from being in a training camp with Lamont Peterson at Head Bangers Gym in Washington DC and putting in several rounds of sparring with Sugar Shane Mosley in Los Angeles, CA. When in camp with Peterson, Jamal said he felt comfortable and happy while being in the ring with such talent.

"This is where I want to be" he said to himself. "I don't put pressure on myself to win. I put pressure on myself to make sure the other boxer knows my name at the end of sparring." His experience with Mosley was like that of a senior gladiator passing on advice and words of wisdom to a young warrior. "Mosley said I would be very successful as a pro" added Jamal.

"Boxing is everything to me. It's like a script for life; work hard, be disciplined, keep your cool, and control your feelings. The same things that make you successful as a boxer help you succeed in life. "

* Interview with Hector Orozco to come shortly...