Shakur Stevenson Dominates Jamel Herring, Stops Him In The 10th
By: Hans Themistode
Jamel Herring had an unspoken confidence about him heading into his WBO super featherweight title defense against mandatory challenger Shakur Stevenson. That self-belief, however, was immediately zapped away the moment the opening bell rang.
Despite sharing a cordial relationship outside the ring, there was nothing friendly about their encounter. In front of a mostly sold-out crowd at State Farm Arena, in Atlanta Georgia, Stevenson came out aggressive in the opening period. Known mostly for his ability to box and move, Stevenson imposed his will early on.
The former 2016 Olympic silver medalist ripped off several hard shots to the mid-section of Herring and continued with a healthy barrage upstairs. Herring, on the other hand, appeared content with walking through fire as he covered up and allowed the punches to glance off his gloves.
Stevenson continued his assault into the second round. Although Herring appeared to be just fine standing in the comfort zone of Stevenson, the former featherweight world titlist made him pay. Stevenson moved away from the unsuccessful straight rights and lefts and opted to curl his punches around the guard of his man. Stevenson’s newfound attack worked perfectly as Herring was repeatedly battered and walked down.
With an ever-growing glow of confidence, Stevenson began putting his shots together even more. The young and brash multiple division titlist picked up the pace in the middle rounds as he continued to butcher and pick apart Herring on the outside.
In the midst of a dominant performance, Stevenson was taken aback in the seventh. A visibly frustrated Herring pounded his gloves together and began to let his hands go. For the first time all fight long, Stevenson began taking several steps back as Herring continued to push the pace.
Despite Herring’s ability to adjust on the fly, Stevenson quickly followed suit. He met Herring in the center of the ring and exchanged huge shots. At the start of the eighth, Herring’s eye looked like it had seen better days.
With a chance to close the show, Stevenson stepped on the gas in the following two rounds. The result was one he was hoping for, as referee Mark Nelson waved off their contest in the tenth round.
Although the pair hurled several verbal jabs at one another throughout the entire build-up, they embraced soon after and squashed their differences.
As for what could be next for Stevenson, Herring reiterated several times over that Stevenson has the ability to take over the 130-pound division.
Carl Frampton Siding With Shakur Stevenson Over Jamel Herring
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.”
Shakur Stevenson: “He’s [Jamel Herring] Fighting Someone Who’s On A Whole Other Level”
By: Hans Themistode
Shakur Stevenson has been far more animated leading up to his fight against super featherweight champion Jamel Herring than usual. The two will square off in the ring at the State Farm Arena, in Atlanta Georgia in just a few more hours in front of a jam-packed crowd.
Currently, Stevenson is enjoying the public backing of the betting market. Despite Herring holding his world title for approximately two and a half years, he finds himself as a considerable underdog, something Stevenson definitively agrees with.
Nevertheless, Herring has built his career on making fools out of oddsmakers. Heading into his world title fight against Masayuki Ito in 2019, Herring was expected to come up short. Similarly, the same was assumed in Herring’s most recent contest against Carl Frampton. In both instances, Herring shrugged off his naysayers and turned in some of the finest performances of his career.
Admittedly, Stevenson pulled up a chair, flicked on the television, and tuned in to watch Herring take care of business. While Stevenson acknowledges that Herring deserves credit for what he’s done so far, as the former Olympic silver medalist juxtaposes his skillset to those Herring has faced in the past, he notices a glaring difference.
“He’s been fighting the best,” said Stevenson during an interview with Crystina Poncher. “You gotta give him the respect that he deserves when it comes to defending his title. But he’s fighting someone who’s on a whole other level.”
Whether Stevenson has stepped through the ropes as an amateur or now, in the pros, he’s been mostly lauded for his boxing skills. In 16 pro fights, Stevenson has combined to lose less than five full rounds.
In his most recent ring appearance, Stevenson pitched a shutout against hard-hitting Jeremia Nakathila. Picking up the one-sided victory may have added to his win total, but it didn’t spare Stevenson from receiving criticism for his safety-first approach.
Regardless of the scrutiny Stevenson found chucked in his direction following his non-eventful performance, he believes he shouldn’t be judged based solely on an anomaly.
“When they say I don’t take risks or chances, we gonna base that off one fight? I feel like in my other fights, I’m backing them up and doing what I’m supposed to do. So I just disagree with that.”
Shakur Stevenson: “A Lot Of People Want To See Me Lose But It Ain’t Gonna Happen”
By: Hans Themistode
Shakur Stevenson is walking a mighty lonely road at the moment.
Under normal circumstances, Stevenson is known as a crowd favorite. The former Olympic silver medalist has sublime boxing skills, continues to call out the best fighters in the world and more times than not, gives fans their money’s worth in the ring.
However, with Stevenson taking on a more aggressive persona for his showdown against Jamel Herring this Saturday night at State Farm Arena in Atlanta Georgia, Stevenson believes he’s turned into the villain. Although Stevenson is convinced that the boxing world wants him to fail, he flashes a bright grin before explaining how little he actually cares.
“I just be reading comments and seeing stuff,” said Stevenson during an interview with Seconds Out. “So I just think that a lot of people want to see me lose but they aren’t going to get what they want at the end of the day.”
Stevenson’s overwhelming self-confidence stems from how every single one of his contests has gone so far. Despite facing the likes of Joet Gonzalez and Christopher Diaz, to name a few, Stevenson pitched near shutouts.
No matter who Stevenson has taken on, the 24-year-old has shown respect and refused to engage in trash talk, more or less. In the case of his showdown against Herring, Stevenson has pulled a complete 180. During their recent face-off, Stevenson audaciously grabbed the WBO super featherweight title of Herring while jawing back and forth with the former Marine. That in turn, saw the pair get separated by onlooking security.
While Stevenson fully understands that he isn’t making any new fans with the way he’s conducting himself, in the end, he couldn’t care less.
“I think because Jamel is going to play the super nice guy and the good guy and I talk a little bit more than him. They want him to win because I guess he’s showing that he’s humble and a marine but at the end of the day, that ain’t got nothing to do with the fight.”
Regardless of Stevenson’s new attitude, the betting market is still in love with him. According to oddsmakers, Stevenson has been listed as high as a 10-1 favorite. The underdog status of Herring is something that the 130-pound belt holder has grown accustomed to.
In his most recent trip to the ring, Herring made the betting public appear foolish as he thoroughly dominated former two-division world champion, Carl Frampton. Herring would go on to score multiple knockdowns before stopping his man in the sixth round.
The win for Herring may have represented a career-best performance but Stevenson rolls his eyes at his recent accomplishment. Although he’ll saunter to the ring this Saturday night with the boxing world seemingly against him, Stevenson won’t give his naysayers anything to smile about.
“I worked hard this camp. I’m in great shape, I’m confident, I’m sharp. They can keep on wishing and praying but it ain’t gonna happen.”
Oscar Valdez: “We Want The Winner Of Shakur Stevenson And Jamel Herring”
By: Hans Themistode
Oscar Valdez was expecting a much more arduous and fan-friendly fight.
The WBC super featherweight titleholder had hoped that former Olympic gold medalist Robson Conceicao would bite down on his mouthpiece and fight him. Yet, as the 30-year-old Valdez grew frustrated during their showdown, which took place at Casino De Sol’s AVA Amphitheater in Tucson, Arizona, he realized that a firefight simply wasn’t meant to be.
“I’m sorry I didn’t give you guys a knockout or a great fight,” said Valdez following his unanimous decision victory. “It’s hard to hit somebody when they’re running the whole fight.”
Despite what Valdez deemed as “running” the Mexican native protracted his title reign with a close and somewhat controversial decision. Now, with Conceicao behind him, Valdez is already eyeing his next opponent.
“We all want the winner of Shakur Stevenson and Jamel Herring,” said Valdez. “Let’s do it.”
On October 23rd, both Stevenson and Herring will settle their ongoing differences in the ring. While Herring’s WBO super featherweight title reign may have spanned over two years, the former Marine finds himself pegged as a significant underdog on the night.
Although wins against the likes of Lamont Roach and Carl Frampton have vaulted him towards the top of the 130-pound charts, Stevenson is viewed as a generational talent. The former 2016 Olympic silver medalist has been flawless during his brief career, rarely losing any rounds against his opponents and earning championship status in just his 13th pro fight against Joet Gonzalez at 126 pounds.
Seemingly uninterested in who comes out victorious during their showdown, Valdez had little to nothing to say in terms of choosing a winner. Instead, Valdez opted to tip his cap to both fighters and simply wants to share the ring with whoever is holding the WBO 130-pound title at the end of the night.
“Their great fighters, great champions. The best has to fight the best.”
Shakur Stevenson On Jamel Herring: “He’s Not My Friend, We Got No Relationship Outside Of Boxing”
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.”
Jamel Herring Set To Defend Title Against Shakur Stevenson On October 23rd, In Atlanta
By: Hans Themistode
Shakur Stevenson was left grinning from ear to ear once the ink dried. The former Olympic Silver medalist and one-time 126-pound titlist, officially signed his part of a bout agreement to take on WBO belt holder Jamel Herring. Shortly after, Herring placed his pen to paper to make their showdown a guarantee.
Now, the two will face off on October 23rd, in Atlanta Georgia.
Since capturing the WBO super featherweight championship against Masayuki Ito in May of 2019, Herring has gone on to defend his world title a total of three times. In his most recent trip to the ring, Herring took on former multiple division champion Carl Frampton. Despite holding a world title, Herring walked into their showdown as a slight underdog.
Despite the betting public expecting him to lose, Herring rose to the occasion and delivered a career-defining performance, dropping Frampton twice before ultimately stopping him in the sixth. While his victory over Frampton is widely considered the biggest of his career, Herring will once again attempt to defend his title as a prohibited underdog.
From the moment Stevenson dropped his protective headgear and turned pro in 2017, the New Jersey native has dominated the competition. In only his 13th professional fight, Stevenson captured the vacant WBO featherweight title. The former Olympic Silver medalist failed to defend his newly won trinket, however, as he opted to move up in weight.
Once Stevenson made the trek four pounds north, he immediately became the mandatory challenger to Herring. Originally, the two never appeared in a rush to square off in the ring. Having spent numerous training camps together and admittedly good friends, there was never an urgency to move their friendship to the side to swap fist.
Still, with the opportunity to become a two-division world champion before the age of 25, Stevenson continually called out Herring and demanded that he gave him his mandated title shot.
Herring though, candidly expressed more of an interest in facing WBC belt holder Oscar Valdez. Ultimately, the former Marine still has Valdez in his sights but will be forced to take on Stevenson beforehand.
While Herring knows good and well that Stevenson is an immense talent, the 35-year-old isn’t counting himself out, even if most of the boxing world is.
“I know it will be his toughest fight,” said Herring to ESPN. “I’ve been in there with better guys than he’s fought by far.”
Shakur Stevenson Vs. Jamel Herring Likely For Mid November
By: Hans Themistode
Despite being good friends, Shakur Stevenson continued to scream and shout for his mandatory title shot against WBO super featherweight titlist, Jamel Herring. Now, after winning the WBO interim strap against Jeremia Nakathila on June 12th, earlier this year, he’ll get his wish.
As first reported by Dan Rafael, formerly with ESPN, promoter Bob Arum has a set date of November 13th for the pair to face off. No site has been confirmed as yet but all signs point to their clash taking place next.
News of his title shot taking place soon, will bring an immediate smirk to the face of Stevenson. Since winning silver at the 2016 Olympic Games, the New Jersey native has been spectacular as a pro. In only his 13th professional fight, Stevenson captured the WBO featherweight title with a one-sided route over Joet Gonzalez. He was unable to defend his newly won belt, however, as he opted to move up in weight.
Both Herring and Stevenson have shared numerous training camp sessions and worked closely with one another. Still though, while Stevenson has great reverence for Herring as a fighter, his mindset has always been “business is business.”
As for Herring, the former Marine was hoping to secure a unification clash with WBC titlist, Oscar Valdez. The 35-year-old has reeled off seven straight wins since his defeat at the hands of Ladarius Miller in 2017.
Recently, Herring picked up the biggest of his career in his last ring outing. On April 3rd, earlier this year, Herring took on former multiple division champion, Carl Frampton. Despite being the underdog, Herring dominated Frampton, dropping him twice before finishing him off in the sixth round and ultimately sending him into retirement.
Shakur Stevenson Vs. Jamel Herring On The Verge Of Taking Place Next
By: Hans Themistode
Despite being close friends, Shakur Stevenson was always willing to put his camaraderie with Jamel Herring aside in order to get a crack at his WBO lightweight title. While reluctant at first, Herring has also decided to push their friendship to the side as well. Now, both parties are officially on the verge of facing off.
According to reports, a deal between Herring and Stevenson is nearly complete. Although nothing is set in stone just yet, their contest is likely to take place at the backend of the year. A feasible destination for their showdown is reportedly Atlanta, Georgia.
For Stevenson (16-0, 8 KOs), the road to becoming a multiple-time world champion has been expedited. Since turning pro in 2017, Stevenson parlayed a 2016 Olympic silver medal into a world title at 126 pounds in just two and a half years. While he completed a lifelong dream, Stevenson began thirsting for more gold. He immediately opted to drop his newly won title in his very next fight and began life in the lightweight division.
As per WBO rules, any champion from their sanctioning body who moves up in weight, immediately moves into the number one contender spot in their new weight class. Meaning, a clash with Herring (23-2, 11 KOs) was essentially inevitable.
The former U.S. Marine wasn’t initially interested in facing Stevenson, citing their strong friendship and a desire to pursue other fights. Earlier this year in April, Herring scored the biggest win of his career as he dismantled and ultimately stopped former two-division champion Carl Frampton in six rounds.
Immediately following the win, Herring placed all of his attention on WBC belt holder, Oscar Valdez. The Mexican native scored a huge win of his own earlier this year as he left long-time champion Miguel Berchelt comatose by the 10th round.
In spite of the magnitude of a Herring vs. Valdez showdown, the 35-year-old belt holder isn’t giving up hope on their contest becoming a reality. First things first, however, he’ll have to dispatch of a good friend, something he’s more than willing to do.
“It would have been a unification and for the lineal title,” said Herring to ESPN. “Why would I not push for that fight? If I have to go through Shakur to get this fight, so be it. He’s a superb boxer but I’ve been through worse.”
Shakur Stevenson: “Jamel (Herring) Is a B-level fighter, He Can’t Beat Me”
By: Hans Themistode
Shakur Stevenson continued doing what he does best last night, winning lopsidedly. The former featherweight world champion made it look easy against fringe contender Jeremia Nakathila at the Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The win for Stevenson not only preserved his undefeated record, but it also solidified his mandatory position for the WBO super featherweight title that is currently held by Jamel Herring. For Stevenson, he’s long shared a personal relationship with Herring as the two have trained with one another and sparred on numerous occasions.
Still, despite their friendship, Stevenson has no issue with explaining how easy he’ll make it look once they do face off in the ring.
“He can’t beat me,” said Stevenson immediately following his win. “It’ll look like a massacre, I’ve been in there with Jamel. He’s not as good as I am. Jamel goes in there in certain fights and he’s losing rounds. I have yet to lose rounds. I feel like I’m the best defensive fighter in boxing and Jamel can’t do nothing with me.”
Herring, 35, is fresh off picking up the biggest win of his career. In April earlier this year, the former marine dropped former multiple division champion, Carl Frampton, before ultimately stopping him in the sixth round. The win for Herring was the third defense of his title. Now, with Stevenson calling him out consistently, Herring has welcomed their showdown with open arms.
Although the current 130-pound belt holder has expressed an enormous amount of confidence in getting the job done, Stevenson believes the chances of Herring actually defeating him are slim to none. In the mind of the former 2016 Olympic silver medalist, it doesn’t matter how he chooses to fight Herring, at the end of the day, the results will be the same.
“If I got to box, I’m a beat him. If I gotta step to him, I’m a beat him. Jamel is a B-level fighter.”
What’s Next For Jamel Herring?
By: Oliver McManus
Jamel Herring proved his championship credentials out in Dubai on Saturday evening with a near perfect display against Carl Frampton. The WBO champion boxed beautifully from the beginning to ask questions of his challenger before a monumental sixth-rounder saw Herring dismantle Frampton through a series of well-worked punches.
The performance was fantastic and, no doubt, it goes down as the best of Jamel Herring’s career to date but, with plenty of big nights remaining, what’s next for the former marine?
Well, the obvious answer is Shakur Stevenson who the WBO has made clear is next in line for their super-featherweight championship. The blue-chip 23-year-old has been guided by Top Rank to that mandatory position after stepping up from 126lbs at which he spent a whole fight as world champion.
Since then, Stevenson has put together back-to-back wins at 130lbs – against Felix Caraballo and Toka Khan Clary – and sat patiently for Herring vs Frampton to eventually take place. It seems as though the governing body will stand firm and enforce that mandatory so perhaps the question of ‘who’s next?’ is a little redundant.
Nonetheless, we’ll speculate a little and a fantastic match-up for Jamel Herring is against Oscar Valdez. The undefeated two-division belt holder is coming off his career-best win after a beatdown of Miguel Berchelt back in February. The Mexican is the WBC titlist at super-feather but had an extended spell as WBO featherweight champion with six defences prior to Herring capturing the crown.
With both men fresh off their biggest career wins, it makes sense that this is the fight to make. It would be a compelling viewing – a unification, at that – and a fight where, actually, you’re not too sure who would come out on top. You lean towards Valdez as the Champion with a better record, slightly more experienced on the big stage, carrying more power but Herring has hit his stride: he is in his purple patch and it is his time. A mouthwatering fight.
A slightly lower key man that Herring might wish to reward himself with a moderately easier night against if, allowed by the WBO, is Jeremiah ‘Low Key’ Nakathila from Namibia. The 31-year-old is ranked #2 with the WBO – one higher than Frampton – and is their ‘Global’ champion, having defeated Zoltan Kovacs in April 2019. Not much is known about the man but the WBO has him in high regard and it should be light work for Herring.
Another American looking good at 130lbs is Chris Colbert – interim WBA champ. While that fight isn’t particularly likely, it would certainly be intriguing. Colbert, 24, has looked really good so far to go 15-0 and is building up quite nicely with wins over Jezreel Corrales and Jaime Arboleda last year. Not a realistic foe for Semper Fi next but worth keeping an eye on where this develops over the next 12-18 months.
Carl Frampton Immediately Retires Following Sixth Round Stoppage Defeat To Jamel Herring
By: Hans Themistode
There were questions surrounding Jamel Herring.
The WBO lightweight titlist may have taken home the victory in his last ring appearance against Jonathan Oquendo but many believed he quit the moment an inadvertent headbutt ended their bout. With former two-division world champion Carl Frampton up next, the betting world favored the Irish native.
Yet, no matter how many dubious voices surrounded him, Herring (23-2, 11 KOs) quieted them all.
Once the opening bell rang, it was clear that Frampton was at a decided reach and height disadvantage. The former champion attempted to avoid the long arms of his man and force his way on the inside. His plans, however, fell by the wayside as Herring peppered him with jabs from long distance.
Round two was much of the same as Herring refused to allow Frampton on the inside to muck things up. Several uppercuts during the round seemingly buzzed Frampton throughout the frame but, not to be ignored, he landed several eye-catching shots of his own.
With Herring seemingly in control early on, Frampton was finally able to corner Herring against the ropes to get his offense going. Thanks to a well-timed, but unintentional headbutt, blood spewed profusely from the right eye of Herring. Unafraid of his own blood, the current belt holder simply kept his composure and boxed from the outside.
As the fight continued, Frampton (28-3, 16 KOs) seemingly grew more and more desperate. He continually lunged at his man but hit nothing but air as Herring maneuvered out of the way before letting off his own combinations. With an opportunity to step on the gas, Herring wasted no time. In round five, a short left hand sent Frampton to the canvas. He quickly rose to his feet as if to say it was nothing more than a slip but the following round, Herring went on the attack.
The frame started like the ones before. Frampton bobbed and weaved while inching his way on the inside, while Herring flicked out his jab to keep him at bay. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Herring landed a deleterious uppercut that sent his man to the deck again. This time, he was hurt. The moment Frampton rose back to his feet, Herring went for it all. Frampton showed no quit as he stumbled across the ring winging shots with no chance to land on the target.
With several unanswered punches connecting, Frampton’s corner waved the white towel to signal an end to their contest in the sixth round. An elated Herring dropped to his knees excited for what he believes was the biggest win of his career.
As for Frampton, the disappointed look on his face said it all. While interviewed following his defeat, the former two-division titlist announced his retirement from the sport of boxing, citing a need to be more in his kid’s lives and around his family more.
The Irish native now walks away after a pro career that spanned a dozen years.
Shakur Stevenson Wants His Mandated Title Shot Against Jamel Herring: “I Can’t Turn Down No Title Shot”
By: Hans Themistode
Shakur Stevenson has never been afraid to step into the ring with anyone. But in the case of WBO lightweight titlist Jamel Herring, Stevenson has been reluctant.
Over the years, both fighters have grown to respect and admire each other. They’ve aided one another in terms of fight preparations and share the same inner circle. With Stevenson recently vacating his WBO 126 pound title to make the lightweight division his new home, he was thrust into the number one ranking for the Herring’s world title. But just a few months ago, Stevenson didn’t sound like a man who was willing to take his mandated title shot.
“The thing with that is I will fight Jamel if I have no other choice but to fight him,” said Stevenson to BoxingScene.com not long ago. “We work with the same people. Bo-Mac, Red, they help me out a lot, also. So, I’m not gonna get on record and call out Jamel Herring because me and him are real tight. Like, we all are locked in with the same people.”
At 130 pounds, Stevenson (14-0, 8 KOs) could be matched up with several notable names, but none of them would bring him an immediate world title. The New Jersey native is currently ranked number one in the WBO, number two in the WBC and isn’t ranked in the top ten in the WBA and IBF.
So while he cherishes his friendship with Herring, he cherishes the word champion next to his name a little bit more.
“I’m still cool with Jamel and Bo-Mac and everybody in his camp and everything. Ain’t no hard feelings or nothing, but it’s business,” said Stevenson during a recent interview with Boxingscene.com. “At the end of the day, me and him, we’ve gotta fight each other. It’s the fight business. It’s all business at the end of the day.”
Business is exactly what Herring is thinking of at the moment as well. After winning by sloppy disqualification during his last ring outing against Jonathan Oquendo earlier this year, Herring is lining up the biggest and most lucrative contest of his career against former two division titlist Carl Frampton.
Even though Stevenson knows how much Herring has been looking forward to that showdown, he isn’t going to sit back and allow it to happen.
“The WBO is ordering him to make his mandatory, and I’m his mandatory. I can’t turn down no title shot. It’s an opportunity to become a two-weight division world champ,” Stevenson said. “In only 15 fights, I don’t know who else has done that, especially at my age. So, I think it’s an amazing opportunity and I’m just ready to take advantage of it.”
In terms of how things would play out in a possible matchup between the two, Stevenson didn’t sound worried about their shared workout history. Just like every other contest in his short career, the former Olympic Silver medalist believes it’ll be just another walk in the park.
“I think it would be just like any other fight,” Stevenson said. “ I think that there’s levels. My level is higher than anybody in the 130-pound weight class. I’m just on a whole different level.”
ESPN+ Boxing Results: Jamel Herring Wins Via Ugly Disqualification Against Jonathan Oquendo
Jamel Herring vs Jonathan Oquendo
After having a difficult time finding his rhythm, WBO super featherweight champion Jamel Herring (22-2, 10 KOs) began to dominate Jonathan Oquendo (31-7, 19 KOs).
Oquendo began to look like a sitting duck as Herring landed the same left uppercut over and over again. One of those aforementioned uppercuts resulted in a knockdown of Oquendo. Still, the Puerto Rican native powered through.
On multiple occasions however, Oquendo used his head in order to make room on the inside for his punches. Referee Tony Weeks deducted a point from the challenger on the night but was forced to eventually call off the contest completely after Herring complained that he could not see. From there, Herring was deemed the winner due to a disqualification.
Steven Nelson vs DeAndre Ware
Steven Nelson (17-0, 14 KOs) has continued to call for his shot at a world title. But with no one listening, the Nebraska native made his fists do the talking for him.
Nelson started off uncharacteristically slow and DeAndre Ware took full advantage. The 32 year old landed shots on Nelson that he normally ducks and dodges. This time however, he took them head on and suffered the first cut of his career.
Still, despite the blood dripping from both of his brows, Nelson turned things up during the midway point of their contest. He began punishing Ware repeatedly against the ropes until the referee was giving no choice but to mercifully call off the contest.
Jared Anderson vs Rodney Hernandez
Jared Anderson (6-0, 6 KOs) has taken full advantage of this global pandemic. The heavyweight prospect has made constant appearances on the ESPN platform and he has not disappointed.
The MGM Grand Conference Center witnessed Anderson pickup another stoppage win, this time at the expense of Rodney Hernandez (13-10-2, 4 KOs).
It wasn’t as easy as his previous fights, but Anderson eventually found his money shot in the fourth round.
Rashiem Jefferson vs Jose Martinez
Rashiem Jefferson’s (2-0, 0 KOs) second career contest was just as easy as his first as he easily defeated Jose Martinez (2-2, 1 KO).
Both men squared off to kick off the night at The Bubble at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. It didn’t take long for Jefferson to show who was the better boxer on the night as he easily cruised to a unanimous decision victory.
Edward Vazquez vs Adan Ochoa
In what proved to be a step up bout, featherweight prospect Edward Vazquez (8-0, 1 KO) showed what he was made of against Adan Ochoa (11-2, 2 KOs).
Things started off rough for the Texas native as he found himself kissing the mat in the second round. He may have trailed early on the scorecards but that didn’t stop him from biting down on his mouth piece and turning things in his favor. Over the duration of their contest, Vazquez slowly but assuredly chipped away at the lead until the final bell rung.
In the end, he did just enough to leave with his undefeated record intact. The final scorecards were as followed: 57-56 and two scores of 58-55 all in favor of Vazquez.
Ruben Cervera vs Rennard Oliver
Ruben Cervera (13-2, 11 KOs) left his opponent in Rennard Oliver (7-3-3, 0 KO) in a heap during their contest at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas Nevada.
After a fairly even first round, Cervera leaped at his opponent with a looping right hand that connected. Once the impact was made, Oliver slumped over the second ropes before falling to the mat and ending their contest.
Jamel Herring vs Jonathan Oquendo: Fight Preview
By: Hans Themistode
Never has Jamel Herring waited so long to punch someone in the face.
The former marine turned super featherweight champion had his title defense postponed not once, but twice against fringe contender Jonathan Oquendo due to COVID-19.
It was a rocky road for the belt holder, but after successfully winning his initial bout with the deadly disease in mid summer, he was misdiagnosed shortly after which pushed his contest with Oquendo further on the back burner. Now that he has officially placed his COVID-19 woes behind him however, Herring will look to defend his title.
At the age of 37, Oquendo finds himself on the doorsteps of a title shot for the second time in his career. With a mixed bag of outcomes in 2019 which resulted in Oquendo splitting his two contest on the year, the Puerto Rican native is hoping to bring a world title to a land that has seen its fair share of them. After losing in his first bid to call himself a champion back in 2015 to Jesus Cuellar, Oquendo has only tasted defeat on one other occasion.
While the Puerto Rican native will be fighting for both the relevancy of his career and his championship aspirations, Herring will be facing two foes on the night.
A win for the fighting marine has become secondary. His performance in picking up said win, is now ranked number one.
A victory later tonight will all but secure Herring with the biggest contest of his career against former multiple division champion Carl Frampton.
Dates and locations for their contest place have already been discussed, all that is left for Herring to do is take care of business. Although the odds heavily favor Herring to walk right through his senior citizen opponent later on tonight, this new COVID-19 induced boxing landscape has seen its fair share of upsets.
The action kicks off tonight on ESPN at 8 PM Eastern time.