Showtime Boxing — Jamal James vs. Radzhab Butaev: Fight prediction, undercard, odds, start time, how to watch
A welterweight showdown headlines in Las Vegas on Saturday night
On Saturday night, Showtime Championship Boxing comes to Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas for a card headlined by a clash for the WBA’s secondary welterweight title. In that bout, Jamal James will put his title on the line against Radzhab Butaev in an evenly-matched scrap.
James (27-1, 12 KO) is gunning for a shot at the WBA’s true world title, currently held by Yordenis Ugas. A shot at Ugas would also give James an opportunity to avenge a 2016 loss that was viewed as an upset. Ugas has gone on to bigger things, including a run as a true world champion and a win over Manny Pacquiao. Meanwhile, James has mostly stagnated while the years have ticked by on the now 33-year-old.
The WBA has set up a four-man tournament with Ugas defending his belt against Eimantas Stanionis and James battling Butaev.
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Of course, James getting to that desired rematch with Ugas and a world title opportunity involves getting past Butaev, which is no small task. In fact, Butaev currently sits as the slight betting favorite heading into the fight.
Butaev (13-0, 10 KO) is a pressure fighter whose perfect record was kept pristine when a 2019 loss to Alexander Besputin was overturned because of a failed drug test by Besputin.
The fight will largely come down to if Butaev can be consistent in his pressure-heavy attack or if James can stay disciplined and keep the fight at a distance.
The night’s co-feature will showcase the best fighter on the card as Jaron “Boots” Ennis (27-0, 25 KO) takes on Thomas Dulorme (25-5-1, 16 KO). Ennis is one of the top prospects in the sport and will look to add another win over a veteran to his resume before he transitions to bouts with the true elite of the sport.
Below is the complete fight card for Saturday night as well as the latest odds from Caesars Sportsbook.
James vs. Butaev card, odds
James vs. Butaev is a battle of decent fighters who can fall into bad habits. James can allow himself to go to war on the inside when it would benefit him to use his reach and technical abilities to cruise. Butaev sometimes lets up on the pressure and falls into periods of reduced activity, which bit him against Besputin before the failed drug test saved Butaev from a loss on his record. If Butaev can come forward and draw James into an inside fight, this is Butaev’s fight to win. It seems unlikely that Butaev doesn’t fall into those old troubles and that means James can outpoint him for a close win. Pick: Jamal James via UD