UPSET ALERT: James Metcalf Decisions Kerman Lejarraga!

James Metcalf Wins WBA Continental Title Over Kerman Lejarraga

James Metcalf flexes at weigh-in for Kerman Lejarraga fight
James Metcalf | Credit: Ian Walton/Matchroom Boxing

James Metcalf Turns In A Career Performance Against Kerman Lejarraga

Junior middleweight James “Kid Shamrock” Metcalf (23-2, 14KOs) pulled off the upset by defeating Kerman “Revolver” Lejarraga (34-3, 26KOs) and halting his climb towards a world championship fight.

The 36-year-old Spaniard held the EBU European junior middleweight title. He fought three times last year, in the fight against Jez Smith was a war that saw both men hit the canvas twice before Lejarraga scored the sixth round stoppage. He narrowly defeated Dylan Charrat by decision after the fight was stopped over a cut from a clash of heads.

The #4 WBA and #10 WBO contender ran over Jack Flatley, scoring three knockdowns to get the ninth-round stoppage. His ranking status will take a serious blow following this defeat.

Metcalf is a 33-year-old British fighter that suffered back-to-back defeats against Ted Cheeseman and Kieron Conway in 2021. With the window of opportunity nearly closed, he pulled off the biggest win of his career.


The two combatants formed a friendship after a sparring session three years ago. All that went out the window at the opening bell. Metcalf came out on the front foot, using the jab to establish control of the fight. He took advantage of flat-footed Lejarraga with angles to connect good hooks and sharp body punches.

Lejarraga was applying pressure coming forward by landing body shots. He got in close behind a jab before landing a good counter right hand. In round three, as both men were fighting in a phonebooth, Metcalf landed a compact right hand that dropped Lejarraga that was ruled a slip by the referee.

Metcalf must have learned something from their sparring sessions as he used movement and sharp uppercuts to take advantage of Lejarraga’s lack of head movement. Lejarraga was only landing one shot at a time, which brought the crowd to life. However, Metcalf responded with a jab and double right hands to the head and body.


As both men suffered cuts on the face from the punishment, it was Metcalf that kept blinding the Spaniard with the jab before exploding with hooks to the body and an uppercut before spinning his opponent around to land more body shots.

Metcalf turned in a career performance, using movement and changing levels by boxing beautifully busting up the face of Lejarraga. The Revolver did land a hard right hand but he was peppered with four unanswered punches in return.

As the fight was coming to a close, Metcalf stayed the course, shifting gears and landing three and four punch combinations. His movement turned Lejarraga into a one-dimensional fighter looking for the knockout that never came.

When the final bell sounded the judge’s scored it 97-94, 96-94, and 96-95 for Metcalf, who walked away with the WBA Continental title.

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By: Garrisson Bland

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Garrisson Bland - Head of Public Relations/Senior Journalist. Garrisson is the Head of Public relations for as well as a senior writer. He is also the host of YouTube boxing show "Truth And Facts Sports Talk."