Jamel Herring and Shakur Stevenson in Serious Negotiations to Face-Off Later This Year
WBO World super featherweight champion Jamel Herring (23-2, 11 KOs) and his mandatory challenger, Shakur Stevenson (16-0, 8 KOs), have been chirping at each other throughout 2021. The two are at it once again.
According to ESPN, serious negotiations are underway for the two to face each other. The fight would happen sometime late this year and would air on either ESPN or ESPN+. Atlanta, Georgia has been discussed as a possible destination for the match.
Herring had initially hoped for a unification showdown against WBC World 130-pound champ Oscar Valdez. However, the WBO ordered that his net fight must come against Stevenson. In the mind of the defending champ, no sweat. He is willing to do what must be done.
“You can hear it in my voice, I’m not really stressing about this fight. I know people said I would avoid the fight because I wanted to fight Oscar Valdez. I just felt in my heart a fight with Oscar Valdez is bigger for my career.
It would have been a unification and for the lineal title, so 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.”
You can certainly understand his position. At age 35, Herring is a former Marine who has experienced a lot in his life. He knows there are more years behind him than he has in front of him in this sport. This is professional prizefighting. The veteran wants the big fights and the big paydays before he exits the sport.
THE GAME WITHIN THE GAME
While praising Stevenson’s ability, he believes he has fought the better opposition. Then there is the issue of maturity and psychological battle. The thinking is, his 24-year-old rival is making some key mistakes.
“I told him that when I saw him in Colorado, that when the fight happens, I know it will be his toughest fight. I said to his face: I’m going to be your biggest fight, your biggest test. I’ve been in there with better guys than he’s fought by far.
I don’t know what they were thinking when Stevenson went to train with my team and they didn’t think my team would pick things from their training camp and not use it against him.”
Shakur responded to Herring’s suggestion via social media. In a series of tweets on July 3, the former WBO World featherweight champ made it clear that he plans to punish him.
He looks at Herring as step one towards becoming the man at 130. Like Herring, he wants to fight Valdez. The product of Newark, New Jersey believes a win over Herring and Valdez would put him in the pound for pound rankings.
At this point, it’s good all the talk outside of the ring will result in an actual fight. Boxing fans are hopeful that the action inside the ring will match the verbal back and forth that we’ve seen so far.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.