Jamal James vs. Thomas Dulorme: A Return to Arms

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It's a high stakes, 50-50 battle for the interim WBA World Welterweight title as James & Dulorme face off in the return of FOX PBC Fight Night on Saturday.

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James vs Dulorme PREVIEW: August 8, 2020 | PBC on FOX

This Saturday, August 8, FOX PBC Fight Night (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT) returns with a high-stakes, pivotal bout in one of boxing's hottest divisions. 

Live from a crowdless Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles and broadcast live on FOX and FOX Deportes, rising 147-pound contender Jamal "Shango" James (26-1, 12 KOs) takes on hard-throwing Thomas Dulorme (25-3-1, 16 KOs) for the Interim WBA World Welterweight title. 

Also during this live broadcast, key FOX PBC Fight Night and FS1, FOX Deportes and PPV fight dates for the remainder of the year will be revealed. 

On the televised undercard, Cuban sensation David Morrell Jr., in just his third pro fight, takes on undefeated Lennox Allen for the Interim WBA World Super Middleweight belt. Also on the bill, top 140-pound prospect Omar Juárez faces Willie Shaw.

Following the primetime Fox PBC Fight Night card, FS1 will have a full slate of action (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT), topped by a welterweight showdown between Mykal Fox and Lucas Santamaria and featuring 18-year-old top prospect Vito Mielnick Jr.i, as well as a clash of unbeaten heavyweight prospects Luis Peña and Michael Coffie.

The Story

Originally scheduled for early April in James' hometown of Minneapolis, this important welterweight contest was put on hold following the COVID-19 outbreak. Now taking place on neutral ground with no fans in attendance, it's less about the possible coronation of a hometown hero and more about what it really was all along—an evenly-matched battle between two welterweights trying to fight their way into the upper tier of the division.

The Stakes

At stake is the Interim WBA welterweight title and the big-money, big-opportunity clashes awaiting the winner. 

The Matchup

Jamal James is on a six-fight winning streak since dropping a decision to Yordenis Ugas in 2016 and on the precipice of a next-level breakthrough. Wins over Jo Jo Dan, Diego Chaves, Abel Ramos, and Antonio DeMarco have showcased his growth and overall development as a fighter.

Tall and lanky at 6-foot-2, the 32-year-old James is an effective fighter from the outside and adept at using his jab to create distance and scoring opportunities. He's also surprisingly good and comfortable on the inside, although it's much more to his advantage to fight at arm's length. 

Despite being increasingly well-rounded and mature in the ring, James still has issues with lunging and leaning in while on offense. These lapses in technique create openings for counters. But he has shown toughness in battle-most recently against DeMarco, who buzzed him early in their contest—and has proven that he's capable of turning a tide when necessary.

I will put on the best performance of my career and win the WBA title. Welterweight Contender - Thomas Dulorme

Puerto Rico's Thomas Dulorme has a deep resume with names such as Terence Crawford, Yordenis Ugas, Jessie Vargas, and DeMarcus Corley on his ledger. Despite having come up short against much of the next-level opposition he's faced, he's put up solid efforts against most and is still improving.

Free-swinging by nature with choppy, awkward offensive movement, the 30-year-old Dulorme throws big punches and pushes forward, applying a good amount of pressure to opposition. Balance issues when on the attack make him vulnerable to big-punch counters. Those defensive lapses have led to his roughest moments in the ring and his biggest losses. 

His recent win over Terrel Williams and his disputed draw with Jessie Vargas before that showed tightened-up technique and a greater level of patience. It's possible that his deep level of competition at such a relatively young age has helped him turn a corner of sorts.

The Words

Jamal James

"I’m excited and ready to be getting back in the ring after everything happening these last months. 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."

Thomas Dulorme

“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...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.”

The Breakdown

On paper, we know how this contest should play out. James should box from the outside and Dulorme should push forward, looking for a firefight on the inside. 

But there are two problems with the paper playbooks. James likes to fight on the inside on occasion and Dulorme tends to be vulnerable there.

This dynamic makes the bout a true pick 'em. 

James would do well to keep the fight on the outside. Dulorme had some rough patches in his last bout when the lanky Terrel Williams chose to stick long shots from a distance. However, it just doesn't seem to be in James' boxing DNA to solely do that. Then there's also the fact that the four-inches-taller James has a three-inch reach disadvantage against Dulorme.

Expect James to begin from the outside and try to get back there whenever a clear head prevails. Also expect plenty of skirmishes on the inside where Dulorme will live or die with his hard-throwing ways. The uppercut could pay dividends for Dulorme against the front-leaning James while the straight right hand from James could be his money shot for this contest. 

No matter who wins or how things play out, James-Dulorme should be a hard-fought, competitive battle right up until the closing bell. 

For a closer look at James vs Dulorme, check out our fight night page. 

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