MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - All was quiet at the Armory on Thursday but come Saturday night the fans are expected to pack the house to see local product Jamal James take on Antonio DeMarco in what James hopes will be just another stepping stone en route to a world title shot.
At this stage of his career, Minneapolis native Jamal Shango James believes he's deserving of a title shot but those championship aspirations are on hold yet again.
Make no mistake though, James isn't overlooking his next opponent as DeMarco is looking to claim victory in James' own backyard.
James tells us, "Antonio DeMarco has definitely got some skills, so I keep all of that in mind but I'm trying to get a world title and I have bigger aspirations, so I have to be able to carry that weight and go for broke as well and fight the best fight that I can you know and if this is what it takes to get that world title shot then this is what I'm going to do."
One man you will see rooting for James is a Twins legend: Tony Oliva has known him since James was a boy and the two share a special bond, with Oliva saying James is like a son to him. "It's a dream come true. This is what he likes, this is what he chooses to do in life, to be a fighter, to be good, to be the best he can do."
James explains, "When I was little, when I was doing amateur boxing, he would ask me how's it going and kind of took an interest in stuff, and he would follow me so being able to have his support and kind of him co-signing my name and stuff like that it really did a lot for my career."
If James is feeling any frustration over not getting a title shot, he doesn't show it. Fighting is still what he loves to do and his eyes are still fixated on the ultimate prize.
He says, "I tell people all the time, if something happened and I couldn't box tomorrow, I would still feel good because I was doing what I wanted to do. I don't have no regrets with it but I'm still going to take it as far as I can."