Jamel Herring calls out Oscar Valdez, no mention of Shakur Stevenson
By Dan Ambrose: Jamel ‘Semper Fi’ Herring called out WBC super featherweight champion Oscar Valdez last Saturday night following the successful title defense of his WBO 130-lb strap against Carl Frampton at the Ceasars Palace in Dubai.
Herring (23-2, 11 KOs) sent Frampton into retirement by knocking him down twice and stopping him in the sixth round
Herring fails to mention Shakur Stevenson
Interestingly, Herring made no mention of wanting to fight his WBO mandatory challenger and fellow Top Rank stablemate Shakur Stevenson, who has mentioned numerous times recently that he wanted to fight the Herring-Frampton winner.
Whether it’s an issue with Stevenson (15-0, 8 KOs) not being popular enough due to his youth or him being someone that Hering is uncomfortable fighting is unclear.
What we do know is Shakur, 23, was not mentioned by Herring after the fight, which means he’s going to have to wait and hope that he can get a shot at the Valdez vs. Herring winner.
Herring made it clear that he wants to move up to lightweight  after he faces Valdez, though, but there’s always the possibility that he could be coaxed into fighting Shakur by Top Rank if the money is right.
But first things first; Herring needs to beat Valdez before any talk of a fight between him and Stevenson can happen.
Herring calls out Oscar Valdez
“As I already said, I want to get another title, of course,” said Herring. “I know Oscar Valdez has expressed interest in unifying and fighting.
“Most people already know that I have plans of moving up [to 135], but if that fight [against Valdez] is available and they want that fight, let’s make it happen, especially we can put that lineal title on the line,” Herring said. “Let’s get that lineal title on the line, and let’s go from there.”
Oscar Valdez, 30, pulled off his biggest career win on February 20th, stopping longtime WBC super featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt in the 10th round. It was an impressive victory for the two-time Olympian
Valdez, 5’5 1/2″, is the same height as Frampton (28-3, 16 KOs), and that could give Herring a chance to dominate with his height in the same way we saw last Saturday.
However, Valdez knows how to move his head to avoid getting hit when attacking taller opponents. Additionally, he has better hand speed, punching power, and arguably a better ring IQ than Frampton.
It’s going to be harder for Herring to just dominate based on his huge size as he did against the 5’5 1/2″ Frampton last Saturday.
“It was a great night for me, and now I want another title,” said Herring about his next move. “To any of the other champions out there, if you want the fight then we can make it happen.”
Valdez will be a difficult fight for Herring, as he’s not old like Frampton, and he’s someone with so much power, speed, and skills.
If Valdez can get inside on Herring repeatedly with his in and out attacking style that we saw him use against Berchelt, he’ll cause problems.
Is Shakur Stevenson being frozen out?
“You would hope and think, but no one is really lining up to fight Shakur Stevenson,” said Tim Bradley to Max On Boxing when asked earlier this week if Shakur should fight the Herring vs. Frampton winner.
“They see his greatness, even with the amount of fights that he already has . But I think he should get the winner.
“I think he has a fight lined up somewhat this summer, and I’m not sure against who.
“And I know it’s not going to be against a top guy because no one wants to get in the ring with that beast fight there, Shakur Stevenson. I would say, yes, he should get the winner, but this is boxing, Max. Anything happens.”
There’s no upside in Herring fighting Shakur Stevenson at the moment, as the hardcore boxing fans only know him. Even if Herring were to beat Shakur, the casual fans wouldn’t give him credit.
Herring is better off taking the fight with Valdez and then moving up to challenge Teofimo Lopez for the undisputed 135-lb championship.
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