Jamal James keeps his winning streak alive with a knockout win over Janer Gonzalez
Jamal James (24-1, 11KO), entered this fight in somewhat of a must-win scenario against Janer Gonzalez (19-1-1, 15KO).At 30 years of age, he must make the crossover from prospect to contender.
The Minneapolis native suffered a defeat in 2016 to Yordenis Ugas, who’ll be fighting WBC champion Shawn Porter in March. Since his defeat, James is on a four-fight winning streak, including an impressive win over Diego Chaves. Janer Gonzalez is a journeyman who’s looking to make a splash in his American debut.
To start the fight, James who is very skilled at maintaining range, does just that; landing his jab and right-hand easily. Gonzalez, while over-matched, remains undeterred and looked to throw combinations. The Colombian native doesn’t land much but, he’s very lively.
Adjusting to a Pattern
As the fight progresses, a pattern emerges with Gonzalez retreating, trying to get his opponent to over-commit. James is being cautious not to over pursue to and keep from smothering his work. It causes the pace to kind of lag, but allows James to win rounds.
In round six, the hometown favorite finally put it together as he shortened his steps and kept Gonzalez at the end of his punches. Towards the end of the round, he would score a knockdown off of a body shot. That would ultimately be the end of the fight, as the Colombian challenger didn’t come out for round seven.
James had an excellent showing and it seems he has eradicated his mistakes made against Ugas. Now is a good time to go after any top ten contender he can get.
After the fight, he mentioned he is the #4 rated contender with the WBA. Additionally, he acknowledged the two champions of the organization (Keith Thurman and Manny Pacquiao) and stated “I want my belt!”
He has all of the tools he needs, therefore, it’s time for the Minneapolis native to raise the bar and maneuver his way into a mandatory position. As for Gonzalez, he’s better suited for domestic level competition in Columbia.
By: Corey Cunningham