MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Minneapolis boxer Jamal “Shango" James has been patient long enough.
“We representing hard and it’s time for me to get that shot,” said James.
His 24-1 record speaks for itself, but at the moment, that impressive mark hasn’t been enough to grant James what he’s long been seeking: a chance at fighting for a world title.
“I feel like it was just time to start calling this out,” he said. “Before I was like, as long as I keep winning, eventually it’s going to come and that might happen, but it’s not happening fast enough for me.”
Currently, James is ranked third in the welterweight division in the World Boxing Association. Often times in the boxing world, the flamboyant and the outspoken garner the attention and marketing. James projects a more humble demeanor, but he does wonder if his “nice guy” persona keeps the WBA from giving him the recognition he feels he deserves.
“I’m not about to be out here looking foolish on TV just to get a bunch of views on social media sites because the circle of discipline doesn’t teach us that,” said James. “The most confident person really ain’t got to say nothing at all, the way I was taught. If I know I could do something to you, then I just know it and I’ll show you.”
The WBA did not respond to FOX 9’s request for an interview.
Another Minnesota fighter however, understands what it’s like to wait his turn for a shot at glory.
“It’s politics man,” said Caleb Truax.
Truax had to wait a while to get his title fight opportunity and while it’s not an exact science as to who gets a shot and why, Truax advises James that as long as he keeps winning, soon enough they won’t be able to deny him.
“I was able to position myself in spot where I was almost a mandatory challenger and I just got the shot and that was 2014, I believe,” he said. “My next title shot didn’t come until 2017, so it takes a while and you got to position yourself in the right spot, but hopefully for Jamal [James] it will come soon.”
In the meantime, James continues to try to do things the right way and he’s hoping to prove that nice guys can, in fact, finish first in the fight game.
“We’re taught to be intelligent warriors,” said James. “I’m confident, but I’m not cocky. I know anybody can get caught, that’s why I train hard though and I think that people are starting to see that my personality, my personality more and are drawn to it.”
James admits at times it’s hard to remain patient when you’re chasing a world title, but his path to his goal continues February 23 when he battles Janer Gonzalez at the Armory in Minneapolis.