WBA welterweight champion Jamal “Shango” James says family training was “perfect” ahead of fight with Rahdzab Butaev – WCCO
NOT A WORD- Oh, whatever you’re comfortable with or I’m fine with. Thank you for hosting me. Appreciate it.
K J- Well I want to ask you what is the story behind this name? Shango.
NOT A WORD- Yes, I had “Shango”, in fact adopted after my grandfather. My grandfather was from Trinidad and Tobago, then he moved to Minnesota and founded a music group called Shang Goya, which looked a bit like a Calypso reggae style band. A few years ago he passed away, but to keep that connection with that side of my family and stuff, I took the name Shango. Shango comes from African beliefs and spiritual things and it’s a bit like African Thor. I have fire, lightning, thunder, dancing and all that. That’s all I bring into the ring so I thought it was perfect. A perfect fit.
K J- It’s definitely very meaningful to bring a piece of your family with you every time you step in the ring and in the middle of training you also work with your dad, you work with your brother every week. So tell me what it’s like to have this dynamic family workout day in and day out?
NOT A WORD- Yeah, I mean in this career it’s perfect. You know what I mean? Because you want to have someone you can trust in your corner when you’re competing and when you’re training and everything. So, you know, these guys know me best, they push me, and know how much push me when – you know, when I might need a rest or something. I have trained with them all my life, obviously I have been coached and I have trained with them all my life and it got me here. So I will continue to do so.
K J- How did your dad do you… Or I guess it was your dad who got you involved from an early age?
NOT A WORD- My mom, my mom actually did. It was she who kind of led to the organization and then to the circle, which is the organization from which I train. They kind of adopted me there as a second family. I’ve been with them ever since and then, you know, we became more of a family engagement there. Now I’m here with it.
K J- Obviously an already very successful career and in the midst of all this training you are also involved in a program that you founded called “Pursuit of Discipline” where you talk to children and young adults every week. Tell me a little more about it.
NOT A WORD-Yeah, yeah, it’s a leadership group. It’s part of the discipline circle and it’s basically an informational mentoring type of group and I run it with my brother, Rhobelle Teckle, and a volunteer and good friend, Kellen Jacobson. We work with young men and women and we talk about things you don’t learn in school or at home, like, for some of the older young men and women, financial literacy and discipline, ethics. of work and how to go about it. resume construction and stuff like that.
For some of the younger ones, ages eight to 13, we talked about the importance of being responsible, how to be humble, how to deal with peer pressure, why it is important to stay focused in school; not at all running with the crowd. We also have a lot of guest speakers and take them on a field trip and stuff like that. So they can spend one-on-one time with people who have run their own businesses and are very successful in any career – they’re like doctors, lawyers, whatever, like that.
K J- What inspired you to launch this program in 2017?
NOT A WORD- Well, it’s kind of something that’s always been in a circle, but it’s never been like a program, you know? So at the Circle we had a lot of other programs and amateur boxing was one of our biggest programs. It was a way to reach out to young men and women and help them build their self-confidence as well as instill discipline in them so that they could be successful in life and not get caught up in some of the pitfalls. from the street, you know.
Often after an exercise or workout we would all sit down and chat. A lot of older guys were kind of giving up on their knowledge and I’ve taken that with me my whole life and I’m sure a lot of other young guys and girls have too. As our organization grew and we started going out, you know, more and more kids and adults out there – once we taught a class we kind of had to push them away, get ready for the next class. We therefore lacked a little time during which we could have this type of discussion.
I thought it would be perfect if we just created an actual group, where we could specifically talk about different topics each week and have these discussions. It reports to the Circle, but it is also its own program. So, you know, young men and women who don’t want to come over there to train but just want to come over there to talk to this group can feel welcome and do it.
K J- Does this sound like something that you are really passionate about?
NOT A WORD- Yeah, I mean, I’m passionate about the whole organization. You know this band is something that I love because I kind of started it with my brother, but the whole organization is doing a great job. I mean not only with young men and women but also with adults and somehow helps them get their life back on track.
K J- Finally, I hear the wedding bells in the distance. Your wedding is scheduled for shortly after your fight on November 27. You are all 10 – or for people who do not know – you have 10 Brothers. Will they be by your side that day?
NOT A WORD- Yeah, pretty much, pretty much you know what I mean? We’re really just going to have a quick ceremony that we just had a big party. I have been with my lady Marley Dorsey for a long, long time. It’s time to get married and start the next trip of our lives together.
K J- Well I’m so excited for you and excited to see your game this weekend. And I want to thank you very much for spending time with me today. I really appreciate this.
NOT A WORD- Well, thank you for having me. Appreciate it.