Jamel Herring’s Number One Target is a Unification Fight With Oscar Valdez
WBO World Junior Lightweight champion Jamel Herring (23-2, 11 KOs) is still basking in the glow from his April 3 sixth-round TKO win over former two-division world champ Carl Frampton. It was the biggest win of his career and the kind of eye-opening performance that has raised his profile significantly. At age 35, the former Marine is still hungry and feels he has more to prove. Herring views the Frampton win as a sign that he has taken the next step of his career. As a result, he is on the hunt for more marquee, big money fights.
CHOICES, CHOICES, CHOICES
There are multiple options on the table. One is a unification bout at 130-pounds against WBC Junior Lightweight champion Oscar Valdez. Option two is a title defense against former WBO 126-pound champion and mandatory WBO Junior Lightweight contender Shakur Stevenson. Herring has also expressed an interest in a move up to the lightweight division in hopes of becoming a two-division world champion.
During a virtual interview with Brian Custer on the Last Stand With Brian Custer podcast, the fighter known as “Semper Fi” explained he is on the hunt for the biggest and best fights available.
“For me, I want to continue to go after the champions. Oscar Valdez has called me out. He has a title and I feel like that’s the most logical and the best thing for me to do, career-wise.
Shakur is not a bad fight. But there are more benefits in fighting a guy like Oscar Valdez because it would be a unification bout and he has the WBC crown. Whoever you talk to, he’s considered either the number one or number two guy in the division.
I’ve always been the type of guy, as a marine, I want to push myself. So, why not keep going for the guys that are above me. That’s how I look at it, then go from there.”
If all parties can come to the table, Herring would love to fight Valdez in September. After a rough 2020 in which he twice contracted the COVID-19 virus, a win over Valdez would put him in a position to be boxing’s 2021 Fighter of The Year.
Herring went on to tell Custer that he eventually wants to move up to 135. His first nineteen fights as a pro took place at lightweight. In his mind, there is unfinished business.
KNOW YOUR VALUE
The champ believes he can fight at a high level for years to come. However, he also understands you have a short window to make your mark. That means his number one target is the potential fight with Valdez.
Yes, Shakur Stevenson is his mandatory. However, Herring does not seem too keen on that fight and will push it back for as long as he can. His cache is at its peak. To earn the big paydays, he must strike while the iron is hot and do so right now.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.