In the co-main event on Showtime, Minneapolis-native and welterweight contender Jamal James returned from a sixteen-month layoff to thrill a sold-out hometown crowd.
He earned a unanimous decision victory after ten rounds against Argentine Olympian Alberto Palmetta.
“I’m pretty sure everybody can see that layoff affected me,” said “Shango.” “I had a lot of rust in me.
“My legs and punches weren’t sharp, but I’m glad I could get there.
“I liked that because it pushed me mentally and made me step up to the occasion.”
“I thought it was an even fight,” said Palmetta. “But I was the aggressor throughout against a former world champion, a taller opponent with a longer reach than me.”
In his first action since losing his WBA Welterweight Title to Radzhab Butaev in October 2021, James picked up his fifth career victory at the friendly confines of The Armory.
Using his considerable height and reach advantage, James could control much of the action and contest the bout on his terms.
“I was trying to adapt,” said James. “I felt like I won the fight. But I could’ve done much better. I know that I’m a lot sharper.
“I know that my endurance is a lot stronger. I’ve just had a lot of time off, and my body is still regaining shape. I’ll be back for sure.”
“I also like to counter, but I ratcheted up the pressure in the second half of the fight,” said Palmetta.
“Maybe it looked like Jamal James was superior in the first half because he kept being conservative and countering.”
Palmetta successfully countered James but could not put together enough combinations or hurt James during the action. James’ edge was reflected on the scorecards as he out-landed Palmetta 193 to 111, including a 153 to 102 advantage in power punches.
James also used a sharp body attack to keep Palmetta at bay, landing 68 throughout the fight, compared to just 20 from Palmetta.
In round nine, a sharp right uppercut caused Palmetta to stumble, leading to a raucous exchange that stirred James’ hometown fans.
The crowd again rose to their feet as James and Palmetta whipped power punches throughout the final moments of round ten.
James kept his perfect record at The Armory intact by total scores of 99-91 and 98-92 twice.
“I know I can be a champion again because I was before,” said James. “I have to stay focused.
“Stay in the gym and back and study this fight – actually, my last two wars – and step it up.
“Thanks to everybody in Minneapolis for coming and showing me love.”