WBA Welterweight Champion Jamal “Shango” James will defend his title against unbeaten contender Radzhab Butaev in a 12-round duel that headlines a night of action live on SHOWTIME Saturday, October 30 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT and features rising welterweight star Jaron “Boots” Ennis in a 10-round showdown against veteran contender Thomas Dulorme in the co-main event. Kicking off the telecast, exciting unbeaten lightweight contender Michel Rivera faces Argentina’s Matías Romero in a 10-round attraction.
Minneapolis’ James (27-1, 12 KOs) returns to action after his previous outing saw him earn an interim title by defeating Thomas Dulorme in August 2020, before later being upgraded to the “regular” championship. The 33-year-old is riding a seven-bout winning streak that includes triumphs over Abel Ramos, Diego Gabriel Chaves and Antonio DeMarco, with four of those matchups coming in his hometown, where he has grown a rabid fan base. With a win on October 30, James moves nearer to a potential rematch of his first and only defeat against WBA Welterweight World Champion Yordenis Ugas.
“Training is and has been at 100%,” said James. “I’m excited to finally get back in the ring and defend my title. This will be the fight where I show everyone why I’m elite in this profession and should be recognized as one of the best.”
The 27-year-old Butaev (13-0, 10 KOs) will finally square off against James in a long-awaited matchup ordered by the WBA. Butaev turned pro after approximately 400 amateur bouts in 2016 and reeled-off KOs in six of his first seven outings. Originally from Russia and now fighting out of Brooklyn, N.Y., Butaev returned to the ring in December 2020, stopping previously unbeaten Terry Chatwood in the third round.
“We’ve been working hard for a year leading up to this fight,” said Butaev. “Everything is going really well in camp and we’re excited to finally get in the ring against James. I’ve seen how James fights and it’s definitely going to be a clash of styles. I can just promise that I’m going to bring the war and make this an exciting fight. I’m going to start writing my history on October 30.”
Ennis (27-0, 25 KOs) is the latest in the pantheon of outstanding Philadelphia fighters, combining sublime boxing skills with natural power in both hands. After numerous appearances on ShoBox: The New Generation, the 24-year-old Ennis graduated to headlining his first SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast in his last outing in April, as he became the first fighter to stop former world champion Sergey Lipinets. The knockout victory gave Ennis 17 KOs in his last 18 fights, with the only blemish being a no-decision in the first round against Chris van Heerden in December 2020.
“I’m glad to be back in the ring October 30 on SHOWTIME in Las Vegas,” said Ennis. “This is another step towards becoming world champion! They haven’t seen nothing yet. It’s time for me to continue to shine and be great. I can’t wait to show out and have some fun.”
The 31-year-old Dulorme (25-5-1, 16 KOs) has amassed a solid resume at 140 and 147 pounds during his career, climbing into the ring with world champions Yordenis Ugas, Jessie Vargas and Terence Crawford. Born in Marigot, Guadeloupe but representing Carolina, Puerto Rico, Dulorme rebounded from a loss to Crawford for a 140-pound title by scoring back-to-back knockouts, followed by a narrow decision loss to Ugas. The world title challenger is coming off solid efforts in back-to-back decision losses against Jamal James and Eimantas Stanionis.
“I think in the Stanionis fight I demonstrated that I am still at the top level,” said Dulorme. “A lot of people told me I won that fight and I thought I did too. I’m excited to face Ennis because he’s a good fighter, but he hasn’t fought anyone like me. The fans can expect another great performance from me on SHOWTIME.”
Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and now fighting out of Miami, Fla. Rivera (21-0, 14 KOs) burst onto the scene in 2019, making his U.S. debut with a victory over Juan Rene Tellez. The 23-year-old continued his ascent in 2020, adding a stoppage win against Fidel Maldonado Jr. and a unanimous decision triumph against lightweight contender LaDarius Miller. Rivera has continued his dominance with a pair of knockout victories in 2021, stopping Anthony Mercado in February before most recently delivering a highlight-reel knockout of Jon Fernandez in July on SHOWTIME.
“Romero made a big mistake taking this fight,” said Rivera. “What he’s seen from me in the gym, is not the same thing that he’s going to see on fight night. He is far from a fight night fighter. He folds under pressure or runs. He is a good fighter, but he’s not at my level. I won’t let him go the distance like Isaac Cruz did. On October 30, I’m going to give him the beating of his lifetime.”
Romero (24-1, 8 KOs) made his stateside debut in March, dropping a competitive decision to top lightweight contender Isaac Cruz on SHOWTIME. Previously, the Cordoba, Argentina native picked up a pair of victories in 2020, winning a 12-round decision over Javier Jose Clavero in November, while stopping Gabriel Gustavo Ovejero in March. A pro since 2015, the 25-year-old will look to bounce back from his first defeat and move into title contention against another elite 135-pound opponent.
“Rivera and I have the same promoter and I personally requested for Sampson Lewkowicz to let me fight him when I saw he had no opponent,” said Romero. “I am willing to step in because I know I can beat him. We have trained at the same gym, but never sparred. His style is perfect for my style. This is going to be another victory for me to add to my collection.”
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.”
In the co-main event, Cuban sensation David Morrell, Jr. (3-0, 2 KOs) captured the Interim WBA Super Middleweight Title with a unanimous decision win over previously unbeaten Lennox Allen (22-1-1, 14 KOs).
In just his third pro fight, Morrell went the distance for the first time and outworked his opponent through the middle and late rounds, on his way to a 207 to 90 advantage in punches landed. The early action saw Morrell establish his body attack, while Allen looked to setup big counter right hands that he threw often.
As the fight wore on, Morrell’s relentless attack wore down Allen, who seemed to lose some of the power on his punches that he needed to change the tide of the fight. Allen continued to push and tried to rough Morrell up on the inside to find a place for a counter and his own body attack.
Morell continued to put the pressure on in the closing frames, hurting Allen with power punches in both hands during round 10, although he was unable to score a knockdown. After the 12 rounds of action the judges all saw the bout in favor of the 22-year-old Morrell, by scores of 120-108, 119-109 and 118-110.
In a super lightweight special attraction on the FOX broadcast, rising prospect Omar Juarez (8-0, 4 KOs) remained undefeated with a unanimous decision against Willie Shaw (12-2, 8 KOs) after six rounds of action.
Juarez looked to stalk the evasive Shaw early, who moved around the ring seeking a counter opportunity against his aggressive opponent. Shaw had some success using his boxing skills, but as his movement decreased, Juarez was able to cut off the ring and land effectively.
After six rounds, Juarez was able to outland Shaw by a mark of 61 to 38, and his higher output and superior accuracy earned him the decision from the judges by the scores of 60-54, 59-55 and 58-56.
In the FS1 telecast that followed FOX PBC Fight Night, welterweight Luke Santamaria (11-1-1, 7 KOs) won a unanimous decision over Mykal Fox (22-2, 5 KOs) by scores of 99-90, 97-92 and 96-93 after 10 rounds. Plus, sensational 18-year-old prospect Vito Mielnicki Jr. (6-0, 4 KOs) scored a TKO victory over Chris Rollins (3-2, 2 KOs) 2:19 into the second round of their welterweight bout. The opening bout on FS1 saw Michael Coffie (10-0, 7 KOs) stop previously unbeaten Luis Pena (6-1, 6 KOs) 1:35 into the fifth round of their heavyweight tilt.
Photo: Sean Michael Ham/TGB Promotions
Top welterweight Jamal “Shango” James will square off against former title challenger Thomas Dulorme in a 12-round battle for the Interim WBA Welterweight Title, headlining the return of FOX PBC Fight Night on FOX, FS1 and FOX Deportes, Saturday, August 8 from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
FOX PBC Fight Night begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and features Cuban sensation David Morrell Jr. stepping up in just his third professional fight to face unbeaten Lennox Allen in a 12-round WBA Super Middleweight Interim Title match in the co-main event. Exciting, undefeated super lightweight prospect Omar Juárez will battle Willie Shaw in a special attraction on the broadcast. All programming can be live streamed in English and Spanish on the new FOX Sports app. FOX Deportes offers delayed coverage of all FOX and FS1 programming beginning at 10:00 PM ET.
Following the FOX PBC Fight Night broadcast will be a full slate of bouts on FS1 as welterweight Mykal Fox (22-1, 5 KOs) takes on Lucas Santamaría (10-1-1, 7 KOs) in a 10-round fight, sensational 18-year-old prospect Vito Mielnicki Jr. (5-0, 3 KOs) battles Chris Rollins (3-1, 2 KOs) in a six-round super welterweight bout, and in an eight-round clash of unbeaten heavyweight prospects, Luis Peña (6-0, 6 KOs) faces Michael Coffie (9-0, 6 KOs) to kick off the action. The FS1 broadcast begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT after the FOX PBC Fight Night broadcast.
Plus! Key FOX PBC Fight Night and FS1, FOX Deportes and PPV event dates for the remainder of the year will be unveiled live during the primetime broadcast, which will feature interviews with some of the PBC stars who will appear on those shows.
“FOX Sports is thrilled to welcome PBC back into the ring August 8 with a fantastic matchup,” said Bill Wanger, Executive Vice President, Head of Programming and Scheduling, FOX Sports. “This outing is the first in a long line of great fight nights coming for the remainder of the year on FOX, FS1, FOX Deportes and PPV.”
The James vs. Dulorme event will be promoted by TGB Promotions and will take place without fans in attendance at the Microsoft Theater, an AEG venue, which will be the home of some of the earlier upcoming FOX PBC Fight Night events.
“We’re thrilled to have PBC back on FOX, FS1 and FOX Deportes headlined by this great main event between Jamal James and Thomas Dulorme,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “James has proven that he is amongst the top welterweights in the world and he will again have a chance to show his credentials against a tough opponent in Dulorme. Combined with a stacked undercard of fights featuring rising stars and more, this lineup should deliver great action for fans all night long on August 8.”
“Boxing has a rich history in downtown Los Angeles, and we are incredibly excited to host FOX PBC Fight Night on Saturday, August 8,” Lee Zeidman, President, STAPLES Center, Microsoft Theater and L.A. LIVE. “This will mark our first televised fanless event since the COVID-19 Pandemic forced us to close our venues in March and we look forward to providing FOX, the fighters, their camps and the California State Athletic Commission with a safe environment to host their Fight Night at Microsoft Theater.”
James (26-1, 12 KOs) has built a passionate fan base in his hometown of Minneapolis and was scheduled to thrill his local fans again on April 11 before the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to be rescheduled. His last fight was an exciting decision victory over former champion Antonio DeMarco in an FS1 main event last July. The 32-year-old James has reeled off six consecutive victories since suffering his only defeat in a unanimous decision loss to Yordenis Ugas in 2016. James has compiled three knockouts during his current win streak, defeating the likes of Diego Chaves, Abel Ramos and Jo Jo Dan.
“I’m excited and ready to be getting back in the ring after everything happening these last months,” said James. “Thomas Dulorme is a strong opponent and I feel that we will be giving boxing fans a great night of action. Training has gone extremely well and I am more than prepared to secure this victory.”
The 30-year-old Dulorme (25-3-1, 16 KOs) most recently defeated then unbeaten Terrel Williams in September, winning a unanimous decision after his previous contest had seen him fight to a majority draw against two-division champion Jessie Vargas in 2018. Born in Marigot, Guadeloupe but fighting out of and representing Carolina, Puerto Rico, Dulorme rebounded from a loss to Terence Crawford for a 140-pound title by scoring back-to-back knockouts, leading to a narrow decision loss to top welterweight Yordenis Ugas in 2017 on FOX PBC Fight Night.
“I have been in training camp now for over four months for this fight and I can’t wait to get in the ring and put on a spectacular performance,” said Dulorme. “The delay only makes me more motivated. James is a good fighter but I am on a different level and it will show on August 8. I will put on the best performance of my career and win the WBA title.”
Morrell (2-0, 2 KOs) arrived in the U.S. last year and immediately began to show the same prodigious talents that made him a standout in Cuba’s iconic amateur scene. Now fighting out of Minneapolis, Morrell made his pro debut there last August, stopping Yendris Rodríguez in the first round. The 22-year-old followed that up in November, knocking out Quinton Rankin, who entered the fight with a 15-6-2 record and had most recently gone the distance with former champion Chad Dawson five months before facing Morrell. This will be a major step up for Morrell in just the third fight of his pro career.
“I’m focused and ready to get in the ring to win this title on August 8,” said Morrell. “Training is going really well and I’ve been working hard with my team day after day. I know that I have to prepare for everything and that I can’t underestimate Allen. I want that belt, but I know he does too. I respect him as a person, but when I step into the ring I don’t have friends, family or anything. It’s just two fighters going after the same prize and I’m prepared to do what I have to do.”
Born in Guyana, Allen (22-0-1, 14 KOs) turned pro in 2004 and has fought out of New York since 2010. He’s won 10 consecutive fights since a 2010 draw against Darnell Boone, including a 12-round decision victory over Kwesi Jones, a knockout of then once-beaten Kojo Issah and most recently a 10-round decision victory over Derrick Webster in February 2019.
“It’s been a while that we’ve been waiting for this fight but training camp has been going great and we’re on schedule for fight night,” said Allen. “I’m ready to go in there, showcase my skills and let everyone see that I’m a well-rounded fighter. I think this fight is going to go into the later rounds and then my experience is going to kick in and I’ll leave the ring with my hand raised.”
Juárez (7-0, 4 KOs) carries the nickname “Relámpago”, or “Lightning” in English, and it could apply to how quickly he strikes in the ring and to how rapidly he plans to overtake the super lightweight division. The 21-year-old from Brownsville, Texas had an outstanding amateur career with over 120 fights, establishing himself as a “can’t miss” pro. He had a busy 2019, chalking up five straight wins, and is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Angel Martinez Hernandez in February.
“The motivation to take my career to the next level has only intensified since the shutdown and I can’t wait to get back in the ring,” said Juarez. “Fighting on FOX for the first time is a dream come true. A win against a fighter like Willie Shaw, who has been in the ring with some quality fighters, is going to elevate my status in the super lightweight division. I’ve had a great training camp and I’m ready to let my hands fly with bad intentions.”
Shaw (12-1, 8 KOs) most recently scored a knockout victory over Antonio Flores in February. The 28-year-old has always been an exceptional athlete, and even received a basketball scholarship to Stanford University. He took up boxing late, turning pro in 2017 with nine straight wins. Shaw has put together three consecutive wins since suffering his only loss, a majority decision to Jose Marrufo in March 2019.
“Training camp for this fight has been perfect and I’m anxious and ready to take advantage of this chance and opportunity,” said Shaw. “Once I beat Juarez, I can show that I have class. People are going to have to respect me. He’s going to bring a lot of attention to me. I think it’s going to be a good chess match. He’s got the amateur experience and I have the pro experience. I’ve been waiting for my moment. He’s just someone in the way.”
Additional non-televised action will feature undefeated prospect Jose Valenzuela (5-0, 2 KOs) in a lightweight showdown against Tedoro Alonso (3-2).