It was too easy for the 21-year-old as he won every round against an opponent who has now won only eight of his 92 professional contests, but the Shoe-Box man was simply delighted to have the opportunity to intervene in the ring and fight.
James was originally scheduled to feature in an English super lightweight title knockout against Connor Parker, but the 27-year-old pulled out of the fight at the last minute.
A shot at a European title was then temptingly put on the table, but that too fell through, and in the end it was a last minute call to get Connelly that meant James could fight at all.
Speaking after the fight, which was shown live on BT Sport, James admitted: “It was tough getting up after last week because he (Parker) pulled out on Thursday.
“I was up for the eliminator and then he got put on the European title and I was buzzing for it. I fought in camp and beat some guys who are in the top 10.
“Then the bad news came, it didn’t happen, and we had an opponent at the last minute, and I’m grateful for that to come back and fight. But I want this title.”
James, who was encouraged by a ‘shoe army’ of 200 who had made the journey from Northampton, was just too good for Connelly in any department.
He dominated the fight from the first round, with perhaps the only frustration being that the former Kings Heath fan couldn’t finish the fight sooner, with Connelly hanging on for eight rounds.
“I kicked into high gear from the third round, after I started attacking him and finding openings that he didn’t want to reject,” James said, speaking to Frank Warren’s YouTube channel, Queensberry Specials.
“I know I don’t hit hard, but after a while when they keep getting hit with punches, they don’t want that anymore.
“Their corner was screaming to stop the fight, the ref looked at him and I thought he should have gotten out of there.
“But like I said, I kicked into high gear from the third lap, and I’m ready to do 10 laps, 12 laps, I know I’m in good shape.”