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Jamel Herring and Shakur Stevenson to fight on Oct.23 in Atlanta

Shakur Stevenson

By Dan Ambrose: WBO super featherweight champion Jamel Herring and mandatory Shakur Stevenson have inked contracts to meet on ESPN/ESPN+ on October 23 in a Top Rank promoted show at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. Each will be getting a career-high of around $1.5 million.

Being a 2016 Olympian, Stevenson puts him on the same level as Herring despite not holding a world title.

Mike Coppinger of ESPN reports the news of Herring (23-2, 11 KOs) and Stevenson (16-0, 8 KOs) having signed the contracts to get this fight made.

Why Atlanta for Herring vs. Stevenson?

It’s unclear why Atlanta was picked for the location of the Herring – Stevenson fight, as neither of them resides in Georgia, and their fanbase is located elsewhere. However, Top Rank likely got someone on the undercard from that area of the country, so perhaps it’ll make sense later on.

Shakur Stevenson

If not, promoter Bob Arum must have got a great deal to use the State Farm Arena for the Herring vs. Stevenson clash. Hopefully, the tickets sell for the fight because that’s long-distance for Herring and Stevenson’s fans to have to travel to see them. Madison Square Garden in New York City would have been a far better option to stage this fight.

Atlanta would be a good location if Top Rank were thinking of trying to set up a fight between the winner of the Herring vs. Stevenson fight against Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis soon, but that’s not likely to happen. Tank is with Mayweather Promotions, and they’re very selective in the type of opponents they match him against.

Shakur can’t afford to be boring

Stevenson, 24, needs to try and make it exciting because he could ruin his popularity if he puts the fans asleep with another boring performance like in his last fight in June against Jeremiah Nakathilia in the WBO 130-lb title eliminator.

I mean, that was a fight that was hard to watch due to the way Stevenson would retreat each time Nakathilia gave any hints of throwing punches.

Even when Nakathilia was using feints, Stevenson would dart backward to avoid shots. With all the complaining Bob Arum did about Guillermo Rigondeaux being a boring fighter, Stevenson was on a WHOLE another level. There are no words.

The thing is, that wasn’t the first time Stevenson put on a boring fight. He did the same thing against Joet Gonzalez in October 2019. Gonzalez isn’t a puncher, but Shakur treated like he was a dangerous knockout artist.

Shakur Stevenson

Herring will have to come forward to press the fight because if he leaves it up to Stevenson, it’s going to be a long night for the fans.

Will the winner face Oscar Valdez?

We’ll see if Arum is willing to match the Herring vs. Shakur winner against WBO super featherweight champion Oscar Valdez in a unification.

That’s the fight that Herring had been asking for, but the World Boxing Organization forced the issue by ordering him to defend against the unbeaten Stevenson.

We don’t know if Arum would have made the Valdez vs. Herring fight, though, because he would have been spoiling one of his revenue streams at 130.

“Sources: Jamel Herring and Shakur Stevenson have both signed their bout contracts for their 130-title fight on ESPN/ESPN+. The fight will take place Oct. 23 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, a market where Tank Davis and PBC have found plenty of success,” said @MikeCoppinger.

Recent wins for Herring:

  • Carl Frampton – TKO 6
  • Jonathan Oquendo DQ 8
  • Lamont Roach UD 12
  • Masayuki Ito – UD 12

The knockout win by Herring over former two-division world champion Frampton last April was by far the biggest win of his career. Frampton didn’t have the size to get close to the 5’10” Herring without getting nailed on the way in.

Stevenson’s recent victories:

  • Jeremiah Nakathilia – UD 12
  • Toka Kahn Clary – UD 10
  • Felix Caraballo – TKO 6
  • Joet Gonzalez – UD 12

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