By: Sean Crose
“I really feel like they got me,” says James Wilson, the 7-0 Southern California based heavyweight on his recent signing with the noted Golden Boy Promotions. “We were on the same wave length…we just spoke the same language.” Wilson is unique in that he came to boxing somewhat late after engaging in a variety of different sports, including kickboxing and MMA, where he did a stint with the prestigious Belator organization. “Before boxing,” he says, “I was doing MMA, kickboxing, Muay Thai…I absolutely wish I had made the transition sooner.” Still, the fighter adds that having outside influences in combat sports can also be beneficial.
Other sporting endeavors, he states: “helped me even though I started a little later.” One of the things that has clearly helped Wilson is the attitude he brings towards the sweet science, especially in its contemporary state. “None of the guys who are the top dogs so to speak right now,” he says, “have what I have.” He’s speaking, of course, of his fellow heavyweights, who he intends to put on notice this weekend when he faces the 3-0-1 Juan Torres on the undercard of the Jaime Munguia-Takeshi Inoue junior welterweight title fight at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
“Here’s the thing,” he says, brimming with confidence, “I’m not looking to go into a fight and box.
I’m coming to do my job, get my check, go home to my kids.” Wilson, whose won six of seven bout by knockout, wants to see the sport go back to the action packed era of the 70s-90s. As his manager, Jared Shaw puts it, the current boxing scene has “too much boxing and not enough fighting,” a common complaint in a world where MMA has gotten popular. Perhaps, then, the mindset of a former MMA fighter can be something of a game changer. “I’m going to smash some faces and go about my business,” he says. “I’m not here to box you, I’m here to tear you apart.”
Not that Wilson wants the world to think he’s a terrible person. There is, after all a distinct difference between in and out of the ring behavior. “I’m a killer,” he says of his fighting style, “but outside the ring, I’m the coolest guy.” To be fair, the man certainly comes across as likable. “I’m a very personable person,” he states, “and can adapt to any situation.” Does that include a situation where his opponent is more eager to box than stand and fight? “I can play both sides of the game (skill and power),” he says. “When it’s time to go there, it’s not a problem.”
As for the future, Wilson intends to stay active. “We’re looking at possibly having six fights,” he claims of 2019. In the meantime, there’s business with Torres to contend with, on a card of note, no less. “It’s a great card to be on,” says Wilson. “I’m good. I’m ready to go. I’m thankful.”
“The awe factor, the wow factor,” he says, “that’s what I’m bringing back. So don’t blink…the only mode I know is beast mode or no mode.”