Shakur Stevenson doubles down on having no beef with Jamel Herring
With one win, WBO super featherweight champion “Fearless” Shakur Stevenson (17-0, 9 KO’s) secured two dreams at one time. The New Jersey native became a two division titlist and beat the reigning champion to do so. Each achievement will stand as major milestones for Stevenson. This is precisely why he will say that he was so laser focused ahead of his match with former champion Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring (23-3, 11 KO’s).
When preparing for combat though, Fearless is the type of fighter to view his adversary as nothing but a pure enemy. This raised the eyebrows of many and retained the attention of the media throughout the entire pre-fight build-up. It is well known that WBO world welterweight champion Terence Crawford is extremely close to both fighters. He has even gone so far as to describe them as brothers. Due to this open camaraderie, the three men have interacted with one another quite a bit over the years.
Therefore it’s easy to see why Stevenson was painted as the villain after he began tough talking and harassing Herring. To make matters even worse, Semper Fi is one of the nicest, most laidback personalities in the sport. Wantonly attacking him came across, ironically enough, almost like bullying. Fearless couldn’t care less if folks were offended or took issue with him. Herring was the opposition and he meant to address him that way.
WE’LL JOKE & SMILE AFTER!
Once all the dust had settled, and Fearless had captured his title, Stevenson displayed a rekindled respect. Naturally, there will be those who insist that the newly crowned champion’s actions were not genuine. Instead of extending a legitimate olive branch, they’d argue he was merely feigning the motions of good sportsmanship. Who knows, maybe Stevenson was not sincere in his behavior.
Yet, if we go by what Fearless himself has said, he is adamant that he harbors no ill will or lack of respect for Herring. This was a point that he emphasized during the post-fight conference. Now that he is equipped with the WBO hardware though, he has already aimed his controversial mouth in the direction of WBC super featherweight champion Oscar Valdez. So even if his elbow rubbing days with Herring are over, at least Semper Fi doesn’t have to hear Stevenson call him a trash fighter any longer.
“I’m not going to say that it was easy, gotta respect Jamel. He’s a hell of a fighter and I was just the better man …actually I am not going to lie to you, I kind of pictured everything that happened. I pictured that before I got in the ring. I knew that there was going to be love after the fight, I knew what it was back in the day. I don’t go in there and be soft, I don’t got no soft in me. So I can’t make him a friend and we fighting each other, I got to make you an enemy. So that’s how I took it!”
Stevenson proved his sentiments to be true. After the fight, he visited the former champion’s locker room to pay his respects.
By: Bakari Simpson