The World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight champion, Jamal James, will defend his title against Russian Radzhab Butaev next Saturday at the Michelob Ultra Arena of the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The bout will mark the beginning of the WBA-mandated Box off, and therefore, means the first step towards a single champion in the category. The winner of the fight must fight next the winner of the Yordenis Ugas vs. Eimantas Stanionis bout, which should take place in the next few months.
James will be making the first defense of his belt. The American defeated Thomas Dulorme by unanimous decision in August 2008 to become the interim champion. Subsequently, in January of this year, he was elevated to champion of the category.
The 33-year-old fighter is one of the lankiest fighters at 147 pounds. His 1.88 cm height makes him a very tricky fighter who knows how to use distance to keep his opponents at bay.
Butaev, on the other hand, is very motivated to get the opportunity he was hoping for. The 27-year-old Russian faced Alexander Besputin for the world title back in November 2019 and although on the ring Besputin was awarded the victory, the result was changed to No Decision after he tested positive for banned substances.
Since then Butaev has been waiting for his deserved opportunity and the ideal time for him has come at this moment. He will try to use his aggressive boxing to corner James and take the belt from him.
All the promotional activities leading up to the fight will take place this week and on Friday will be the weigh-in ceremony. James has a record of 27 wins, 1 loss and 12 knockouts, while Butaev has 13 wins, 1 loss and 10 knockouts.