Minnesota’s Jamal “Shango” James takes his nickname from the African god of thunder, lightning and fire, brandishing his fists in place of flames.
If his namesake was mythologized for bringing the rumble, Jamal James (18-0, 9 KOs) will look to do the same against 2008 U.S. Olympian and California native Javier Molina (17-1, 8 KOs) The two 147-pound prospects headline FS1’s Toe-To-Toe Tuesdays in a 10-round scrap January 19 from Los Angeles’ Club Nokia (11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT).
Last time out, James, 27, passed his toughest test yet against hard-hitting Dominican brawler Juan Carlos Abreu, getting off the canvas in Round 4 to rally his way toward a unanimous decision in September.
In the 25-year-old Molina, James faces a younger fighter who will be throwing down in front of his hometown crowd.
“This is a huge opportunity for me to fight at home and it’s extra motivating to fight in the same venue where I made my pro debut,” said Molina, who comes from a fighting family with two of his brothers also pro boxers.
Nevertheless, getting a win against James will be a tall order for Molina—literally.
Measuring in at 6 feet 2 inches, James is exceptionally long for the 147-pound division, and is skilled at using his height and reach advantages to outbox opponents.
Molina, though, remains undaunted.
“I’ve seen Jamal fight in the amateurs,” he said. “We haven’t fought, but we know each other well. I’m very thankful to be in this position and I plan on making the most of it.”
For complete coverage of James vs Molina, visit our fight page.