By: Sean Crose
Some excellent news for fight fans: Jamel Herring is set to defend his WBO super featherweight title against Carl Frampton February 22nd in London. With the exception of Ryan Garcia’s besting of Luke Campbell a week or so ago, it’s been a slow start of the New Year for boxing. Frampton-Herring helps to change all that, as it showcases two high level fighters engaging in a high level match for a major world title.
“I’m really excited that the fight is finally happening,” says 22-2 defending champion Herring. “More importantly it’ll be an honor to share the ring with a true warrior, and class act such as Carl Frampton. It may be the biggest fight of my career to date, but I’ll be more than ready for the task ahead.” Herring, who won the WBO belt from Masayuki Ito back in 2019, and who will be making his third title defense when he faces Frampton, has won his last six in a row. He was last in the ring in September, besting Jonathan Oquendo via disqualification in round 8.
As for Frampton, the former titlist was last in the ring back in August, when he stopped Darren Traynor in 7. In a career that’s lasted over a decade, the Irishman has bested the likes of Leo Santa Cruz, Scott Quigg, and Nonito Donaire. Now, at 33, he hopes to once again become a titlist after losing the WBA super featherweight title in his rematch with Santa Cruz. Frampton made a play for the WBA featherweight title in 2018, but was outpointed by Josh Warrington.
“I have the upmost respect for Jamel as a fighter and as a man,” Frampton says, “but there is nobody stopping me on becoming the island of Irelands only ever 3 weight world champ, one of Britain’s only ever 3 weight world champions and potentially have one foot in the hall of fame.”
The battle between the two men has frankly been a long time coming. The fighters were supposed to throw down last year, but, thanks to Covid-19, the confrontation had to be put off. What makes this fight interesting, aside from the talent level, is the fact that it pits two veteran and thoroughly determined warriors against one another. For instance, as he was 32 years of age at the time, Herring may have well been written off before he won the title against Ito in 2019. Being the US Marine Corps vet he is, however, the Ohio native rose to the occasion.