James wins decision over DeMarco on FS1
The veteran was game, but Jamal James took a deserved decision in Minneapolis.
Jamal James took another step toward contention at 147 pounds, outpointing former lightweight titleholder Antonio DeMarco in tonight’s FS1 main event, an entertaining bout in James’ hometown of Minneapolis.
James (26-1, 12 KO) won on scores of 98-92 across the board, with Bad Left Hook having it slightly closer at 97-93 for James. The 30-year-old James largely outworked DeMarco (33-8-1, 24 KO) to pull out the win, but it was a fight where both had their successes, and it was fun to watch from start to finish.
DeMarco did some good work to the body of James, especially, but James’ workrate and punch output just took too many rounds. They landed around the same percentage, but James simply landed a lot more punches. What DeMarco got in was good, but James did that quality work and then some.
DeMarco, 33, still looked quite game, and he’ll surely get more calls for fights like this one, where someone needs to stay busy or a prospect needs to be in against someone who can fight to see if they’re for real. He showed plenty of determination and definitely came to win this fight.
As for James, realistically, it’s very hard to imagine him being a serious threat to the current top guys at 147 — Crawford, Spence, Pacquiao, Thurman, Porter, Danny Garcia — but at least some of those guys will be going up to 154 sooner or later, and at some point there could be an opening for him. He’s generally enjoyable to watch, gets good crowds at home in Minnesota, and on the right night with the right matchup for the right vacant title, sure, he could potentially win a belt.
Gerald Washington KO-8 Robert Helenius
This was a fight with two veteran guys trying to remain even near the conversation. Helenius (28-3, 17 KO) was doing a pretty good job here, leading on two of the three cards, and I had him up through seven. Washington (20-3-1, 13 KO) seemed to be fading, and then he cracked Helenius with a good right that hurt the big guy from Finland. Helenius held on, but when they were separated, Washington drilled him with an even better right, putting him down for the count. Washington, 37, is a former USC football player, a boxing project who came to the sport as an adult and has had a decent career all things considered. He’s not going to win a world title or anything, but he’s become a real pro. For Helenius, 35, this is a huge setback. It was his US debut, and probably a stretch to say he’ll never be back, but it obviously didn’t turn out how he wanted.
Charles Martin TKO-4 Daniel Martz
Martz (18-7-1, 15 KO) is a 28-year-old club fighter from West Virginia, came to fight but was outclassed and overmatched here. Martin (27-2-1, 24 KO) is a former IBF titleholder, briefly holding that belt in 2016 and serving as the guy who passed it from Tyson Fury (stripped) to Anthony Joshua. Martin says he wants to fight for another world title before the end of 2019, specifically naming Deontay Widler, who has the WBC belt, and Mahmoud Charr, who has the WBA’s secondary title that nobody takes seriously. Martin, 33, really hasn’t looked impressive since losing to Joshua — he didn’t really look impressive winning his title, either, since that came on a fluky injury — and was beaten by Adam Kownacki about a year ago. But he’s still fighting regularly and working.
Bryant Perrella TKO-3 Domonique Dolton
Both these guys were prospects at one point, no longer are. But Perrella, 30, looked like he still has something, while the 29-year-old Dolton decidedly did not. Dolton (22-3-1, 13 KO) was never down and complained when the referee finally stepped in to end the assault, but Perrella (17-2, 14 KO) was just battering him with nothing coming back from Dolton. Perrella hurt Dolton twice in the second round and the entire third was pretty much Perrella teeing off on Dolton. Perrella doesn’t figure to suddenly become a welterweight contender, but he’s a fine guy to have on your promotional roster, too. TV slots don’t fill themselves, and he isn’t boring. They kinda hyped Perrella maybe facing Jamal James in the future, and this was Perrella’s second straight fight on a card that also featured James in Minneapolis, so that does seem to be a legitimate plan.