James is currently ranked number one in the welterweight division in Minnesota and 31 in the nation, according to www.BoxRec.com. He sports a perfect 10 – 0 record with five knockouts. Kayongo is 17 – 2 – 1 with 12 wins by knockout.
Seconds Out Promotions, approached James after watching him win a unanimous decision against Las Vegas fighter, Robert Osiobe, beating him in all eight rounds at the Grand Casino in Hinckley on Aug. 16. James took the fight on a week’s notice after Jason Litzau, who was scheduled to fight Osiobe as the main event, backed out due to a hand injury. James is looking to expand his career out of Minnesota and bring some positive recognition to professional boxing in the state.
“Minnesota is known for building other fighters (outside of the state). We don’t get the respect and recognition we should and I am looking to change that image of Minnesota professional boxing,” said James.
The first Minnesota welterweight champion was in 1931 with only six Minnesota boxers holding the state title – none of them from Minneapolis. The last state welterweight champion was in 1962. Since then the title has been vacant. James thought he had won the state title on June 23 in a rematch with Hector Orozco at the Black Bear Casino in Carlton, only to find out later that there was not an official ranking system in place, which made their fight a non-title bout. This did not stop James from moving forward and taking on tough fights to prove to the boxing community that he will be a contender for a world title.
James is from Minneapolis, and started competing in amateur boxing at the age of 10. He has been training at the Circle of Discipline, Inc., under the guidance of Sankara Frazier. James turned pro in 2010, after competing in amateur boxing for 12 years. He has won numerous national amateur tournaments, trained at the Olympic training facility in Colorado Springs, Col. and was ranked number one in the nation as an amateur.
James and Kayongo are not the only fighters contending for a state title that night.
In the main event, Caleb Truax and Cerresso Fort will be competing for the Minnesota Middleweight title and the IBF/USBA Middleweight title. The card also features the Minnesota Lightweight title rematch of Tony Lee vs. Jeremy McLaurin.
General admission tickets are $30, with VIP at $40, table seats at $85 and pre-sale ringside seats at $125 ($150 at the door). Information on the card can be found at www.sofights.com or by calling (612) 282-4869.