Brave Jamal “Shango” James lacks technical skills – boxing news

James 27-2-0 (12Kos) lost a tough game last night in the main event against Russian Radzhab Butaev 14-0-0 (11Kos) at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas. Initially, James used his size and advantage to keep the smaller Butaev at bay. James scored with a long left jab and mixed in several combinations. He took the first few laps and got things done.

Butaev appeared to be the stronger of the two, and he turned things around by switching to a left-hander, literally leaping forward with a hard forehand. This rocked James, and Butaev then opened with a hard left, then hit James with hard punches to the body. James stayed tough and threw his own body punches and uppercuts, but they didn’t get the vapor of Butaev’s punches.

James has a bad habit of dropping his height and achieving advantages by leaning down and inward. The move puts him at risk for punches to the side and back of his head. Even more annoying is his habit of turning his back on his opponent. The old adage “protect yourself at all times” came into play when Butaev took the opportunity to put a few right hands on James’ right side and jaw. Referee Celestino Ruiz ruled the shots illegal and asked the judges to deduct a point against Butaev. The replay of the video made the referee’s appeal questionable.

Bending over and turning your back pretty much cost James the fight. Just why he did it, (does), only he knows, but it’s quite likely that Butaev’s punches and headshots caused James great fatigue. In fact, you could hear him between rounds mentioning “my legs” to his trainer, which would probably be tiring. Mobility goes away when the legs get tired. It was bad news for James. A stationary James then began to expose the problems already mentioned, lean forward and turn around to give his back to Butaev.

Sometimes every fighter will experience fatigue, whether from punishment or from lack of physical fitness. Obviously when this happens bad things can happen because the fighter becomes more of a target. That was certainly true with James on Saturday night.

Excellent fighters have the ability to use additional technical skills to keep them out of harm’s way, or at least to minimize potential damage. Fans know that good / great fighters are good fighters. They can not only manage / control distance but also deal with beatings or even injuries. Adults are not hit / injured twice with the same punch.

Last night it was a bit ironic because James hit Butaev with the same punch not just twice, but three times (rt. Uppercuts). However, they didn’t knock Butaev off his game plan. On the other hand, Butaev’s heavier punches took James out of his game plan. So what was he going to do? If his legs failed him, he had to rely on his technical skills.

Jamal James, Radzhab Butaev - Boxing News

But he just didn’t have them. He was not slipping punches. It does not appear the blows. He did not pivot or go around Butaev. He wasn’t pushing and unhooking. He wasn’t dodging, swinging, and weaving, either. He just leaned forward and remained in that vulnerable position. Without these skills, James was unable to rest to fend off Butaev’s attack, and he continued to suffer punishments. The fight may have been ended prematurely, but there is no doubt that James has taken a lot of damage. His face showed it.

As the old saying goes, it’s back to the drawing board. Good luck to Jacques. He’s a good guy.


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