By: Hans Themistode
There was a confident glow about Carl Frampton.
The former two-time world champion sauntered his way to the ring on April 3rd, at Caesars Palace in Dubai as a considerable favorite earlier this year. Standing across the ring from him on the night was WBO 130 pound titlist, Jamel Herring. Frampton may have believed that he would take care of business against Herring convincingly, but he was completely shocked at the overall skills of the former Marine.
What ultimately ensued was a short but painful night as Frampton was dropped and later stopped before subsequently retiring from the sport altogether.
As Herring patiently watches the clock wind down for his title defense against Shakur Stevenson later on tonight at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, Frampton believes that his former rival isn’t getting his just due.
“I don’t think Jamel Herring gets the credit he deserves. He’s a good fighter, as I found out in my last fight,” said a chuckling Frampton. “Clever, willy, and mentally a very, very strong fighter.”
All of Herring’s attributes were accentuated all of those months ago. But even while the WBO belt holder has reeled off seven straight victories, including three coming in defense of his title, many are expecting Herring’s championship reign to come to an end unceremoniously.
In Stevenson, Herring faces one of the brightest young stars in all of boxing. Since picking up Olympic silver in the 2016 games, Stevenson has gone on to dominate everyone placed in front of him in the pros.
Even as the competition has gotten stiffer, Stevenson has continued to elevate his game. In his three most recent trips to the ring, the New Jersey native has failed to lose a single round, as he’s casually and effortlessly boxed circles around his opposition.
From first-hand experience, Frampton is well aware of the skillset that Herring brings to the table. And while he has nothing but the utmost respect for the man who brutally stopped him in six rounds, he believes that Stevenson is simply a notch above.
“I think he’s the younger and fresher guy,” said Frampton of Stevenson. “He has a lovely style. He also punches hard enough, something we’ve seen him develop over time. His ring IQ is fantastic and can do a bit of everything. His better boxing, ring IQ, and all-around game will probably be enough for him to get the fight.”
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