By: Hans Themistode
Shakur Stevenson is visibly confused by the ongoing narrative surrounding his showdown against Jamel Herring. The two are slated to face off on October 23rd at the State Farm Arena, in Atlanta Georgia with Herring’s WBO super featherweight title on the line.
From the moment Stevenson forfeited his WBO featherweight title and moved up in weight in 2020, the former Olympic silver medalist has been calling for his shot against Herring. Considering that the two have been seen on numerous occasions attending fights and share many of the same inner circle, including pound for pound star, Terence Crawford, both Herring and Stevenson are viewed as being good friends.
However, Stevenson has shaken his head incredulously at those sentiments. While they are certainly cordial with one another, calling them friends is a bit of a stretch.
“[Jamel] is just a friend of my family,” said Stevenson during a press conference earlier today. “He’s not my friend. He’s not nobody I talk to outside of boxing. We don’t got no relationship outside of boxing. He’s somebody I see around. He messes with the same people I mess with. Other than that, we’re not friends. I’ve never really been his friend. He’s cool people. I don’t got no problem with him at all. It ain’t like I check up on him when I’m not fighting or he checks up on me. I don’t consider that a friend.”
Herring, 35, currently finds himself as a sizable underdog heading into their showdown. But being viewed as a likely loser on a particular night is something he has grown accustomed to.
In the end, the former Marine believes that everyone’s thoughts surrounding his showdown against Stevenson is simply conjecture.
Heading into his first title fight against Masayuki Ito in 2019, Herring was once again viewed as an underdog. Despite those thoughts, Herring ripped the 135-pound title away from the Japanese native.
Most recently, Herring’s title reign was expected to come to an end at the hands of Carl Frampton. The two tangoed this past April in Dubai, with Herring walking away with the decisive sixth-round stoppage victory.
As for Stevenson, he’s watched Herring up close and personal on several occasions. The two have spent time together during numerous fight camps and given one another tips along the way.
Now though, the 24-year-old has become interested in the golden trinket currently sitting on the shoulders of Herring. Regardless of the time they’ve spent together, Stevenson doesn’t plan on taking it easy on Herring in the slightest.
“I’m coming here to dominate. Jamel is a solid fighter. He has a great team around him, but it’s going to be my night. That’s how I feel. At the end of the day, I’m coming in there to handle business, and I’m going to make sure I win.”
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