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Jamel Herring vs. Shakur Stevenson this Saturday, Oct.23 on ESPN+

Image: Jamel Herring vs. Shakur Stevenson this Saturday, Oct.23 on ESPN+

By Chris Williams:  WBO super featherweight champion  Jamel  ‘Semper Fi’ Herring is ready to hand #1 Shakur Stevenson his first career loss this Saturday, October 23, at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta.

Herring (23-2, 11 KOs) and Stevenson (16-0, 8 KOs) will be meeting in the main event on ESPN & ESPN Deportes. The televised portion of the card begins at 10:30 ET. Fight fans outside the US can catch the fight LIVE on FITE TV (click here).

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Jamel believes Stevenson, 24, has a prominent “chip on his shoulder” after the way he performed in his last fight against Jeremia Nakathila on June 12th, receiving a ton of bad press and boos from the boxing fans.

While Shakur won the WBO 130-lb title eliminator against Nakathilia, the way, he performed turned off fans.

Stevenson looked timid and wanted no part of standing his ground after getting a taste of Nakathilia’s power early on in the fourth.

Shakur can’t afford to perform that way on Saturday against Herring if he doesn’t want to be booed out of the State Farm Arena in Atlanta.

Herring is the type of fighter that can make a runner look bad, which is why Stevenson must show more courage on Saturday than he did against Nakathila.

Herring not overlooking Shakur

“I’m not upset with it being in Atlanta because of recent memory; it’s been growing, especially when you look at the Tank Davis fights,” said Jamel Herring to Secondsout on his fight with Shakur taking place in Atlanta.

Image: Jamel Herring vs. Shakur Stevenson this Saturday, Oct.23 on ESPN+

“I think it’s going to be a dog fight at times,” said Herring about how he views his fight with Shakur going on Saturday.

“And I think it’s going to be a chess match, but there’s going to be times where it’s going to be a dog fight as well because I know he has a lot to prove, especially after his last performance [against Jeremia Nakathila].

“I think he [Stevenson] has a bit of a chip on his shoulder, but definitely you can expect a good fight. At least, I’m going to try and make it a good fight on my end.

“I’m just happy overall that I’m in another big fight,” said Herring. “If you saw the last fight [with Carl Frampton], it could be back in Dubai, and I would be happy with that. For me, as long as they have a ring setup, it don’t really matter where the fight is at.

“I’m definitely not looking past Shakur. In looking at the landscape of the division, my overall goal is to become the lineal world champion of the [130-lb] division.

“I feel like with a victory here, the next guy on the list is Oscar Valdez to become not only a two-time world champion but to become a lineal champion as well.

“Of course, that comes to my mind, but I’m solely focused on Shakur Stevenson right now. It’s hard to determine who was better, Frampton or Shakur.

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Herring wants to end the hype

“Recently, my profile has grown not only in the U.S but also across the pond as well,” said Herring.

It’ll be huge for Herring to beat Stevenson and then face WBC super featherweight champion Oscar Valdez in 2022.

The question is, will Top Rank boss Bob Arum allow Herring to get a piece of Valdez after a win over Stevenson? My guess is NO.  Valdez is a popular fighter, bringing in good money each time he fights on ESPN.

Arum isn’t going to want to shut off the spigot for the green that Valdez is bringing in for his ESPN fights.  If Herring beats Valdez, the money that Oscar routinely brings in for his fights may dry up like a played-out Texas oil well.

Arum may be stuck with a dry duster after Herring beats Valdez, and he’s not going to allow that to happen.

Jamel looking to be recognized

“Oh yeah, of course,” said Herring when asked if boxing fans will begin to recognize him as a pound-for-pound fighter if he defeats Stevenson on Saturday.

“I believe so because a lot of people have a big high pedestal for him [Shakur] alone as it is, and a good victory over him will hopefully put me in there with Josh Taylor, Errol Spence, and Terence Crawford,” Herring said.

“A win over him, I don’t care if I just crack the top ten spot [in pound-for-pound. That’ll be a huge honor for me, especially where I came from, where I suffered my first defeat, and where I am right now.

“Not only cracking the pound-for-pound list but also being a candidate for ‘Fighter of the Year’ and having a great year as well,” Herring said in visualizing the accolades that can come from a victory over Stevenson.

A victory for Herring, 35,  over Stevenson would be a far more significant accomplishment than in his last fight in defeating the faded 34-year-old Carl ‘The Jackal’  Frampton by a sixth round knockout on April 3rd.

Herring will receive far more credit for beating the 24-year-old Stevenson than he did against Frampton because there’s a ton of hype surrounding the 2016 Olympic silver medalist, thanks to his promoter Bob Arum’s tireless work in building up his image in the media.

Shakur’s last fight against Nakathila showed that he’s not the talent that many boxing fans and media members initially thought.

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Stevenson can’t run from the battlefield – again

It wasn’t just an anomaly that Cuban Robeisy Ramirez beat Stevenson in the 2016 Olympics. Stevenson’s game has some serious holes, starting with his reluctance to stay in the trenches a fight.

Shakur is virtually ALWAYS running for cover when his opposition even hints at throwing punches back at him. Stevenson is a hit-and-run specialist.

Those types of fighters are eventually found out when they’re forced to fight and end up fleeing the battlefield with their tails between their legs.

Jamel Herring vs. Shakur Stevenson undercard:

  • Evan Holyfield vs. Charles Stanford
  • Xander Zayas vs. Dan Karpency
  • Roddricus Livsey vs. Eric Palmer
  • Nico Ali Walsh vs. James Westley II
  • Harley Mederos vs. Deljerro Revello
  • Troy Isley vs. Nicholi Navarro
  • Haven Brady Jr. vs. Roberto Negrete
  • Antoine Cobb vs. Jerrion Campbell

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