Boxing is a sport soaked in irony. Many times, fighters will talk a good game and then make excuses as to why not take a fight. It happens all the time on the national level and it happens right here in our back yard. Which is why the upcoming fight between Jamal James and Corey Rodriguez so refreshing.
The two will cross paths in the main event of Sterling Entertainment Group's Pound 4 Pound card Saturday at Canterbury Park. Sure, there has been the typical talk between the two camps leading up to fight week, but the undefeated James (7-0) and the veteran Rodriguez (6-2-2) are ready to put on a show in a fight that experts have called a fight of the year candidate.
James came up through the ranks of the Circle of Discipline gym in Minneapolis. Introduced to the gym by his mother when he was just five, James worked his way through an impressive amateur career that started when he was eight before turning pro on May 22nd 2010. When it comes to reviewing his past, he understands where the credit lies.
"I love her for it," said James about his mom. "She was going to school at the time and a whole bunch of other stuff going on. She is a very strong lady. I feel very blessed. I didn't come from a broken home, they gave me the love that I needed, pushed me and got on my tail when I messed up."
Rodriguez took a slightly different path to the pro game. After a solid amateur career that started when he was 11, he won his pro debut against John Hoffman in September of 2007. He took a break from boxing to head to California to go to school where he earned a degree in engineering. Admittedly, Rodriguez missed the fight game resumed his amateur career in 2005.
"I'm 33 years old," said Rodriguez. "Most 33 year olds have been fighting since they were kids. Most guys have taken a lot of shots. Personally, I was out of the game for eight years, I don't have a lot of wars on me."
Styles make great fights. The battle between James and Rodriguez will be a top fight in recent history in the state.
For ticket information click here.