After months of social media taunts, the junior lightweight rivals Jamel Herring and Shakur Stevenson have put pen to paper to settle the score. Herring will defend his WBO 130-pound title against Stevenson on October 23 at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena.
Already dubbed “Throwdown in A-Town,” Herring enters the bout coming off an impressive sixth-round stoppage of Carl Frampton in April. The undefeated Stevenson won a 12-round unanimous decision over Jeremia Nakathila in June and is seeking his second title in as many weight classes.
“2021 has been good to me so far. I started the year with a big fight and a major win over Frampton,” Herring said. “I look forward to finishing out the year the same way I started it, not only with another huge victory, but as a world champion. I have nothing else to say. I’m focused on October 23 and the fourth title defense of my WBO belt.”
“Jamel had to fight me, or he would’ve been stripped of his world title. I boxed him into a corner, and I am going to take his world title in devastating fashion on October 23,” said Stevenson. “I can’t wait to fight in front of the amazing fans in Atlanta. Trust me, you are going to see a show, and I will become a two-weight world champion.”
Nico Ali Walsh (1-0, 1 KO), the grandson of Muhammad Ali, will compete in his second bout as a special attraction. Ali Walsh’s August 14 debut was notable as he knocked out Jordan Weeks wearing trunks worn by his legendary grandfather. Ali’s Atlanta history is rich — “The Greatest” began his comeback after a three-year hiatus by stopping Jerry Quarry in three rounds at City Auditorium in 1970, and lit the Olympic flame at the 1996 Summer Olympics.
Ali Walsh said, “Atlanta welcomed my grandfather with open arms, and I am honored to fight there on a major world championship card. When Top Rank said I’d be fighting in Atlanta, I thought of my grandfather lighting the Olympic torch and his bout against Jerry Quarry. This will be a special evening for my entire family. The legend lives on.”
Herring vs. Stevenson, Ali Walsh’s bout, and a to be determined co-feature will air live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes (simulcast on ESPN+) at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT.
Streaming exclusively on ESPN+ will be undercard bouts featuring U.S. Olympic silver medalist Duke Ragan (4-0, 1 KO) in a six-round featherweight bout, Ragan’s Olympic teammate Troy Isley (2-0, 1 KO) in a six-rounder at middleweight, Georgia native Haven Brady Jr. (3-0, 3 KOs) in a four-round featherweight bout. Evan “Yung Holy” Holyfield (7-0, 5 KOs), son of four-time heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, will also make his Atlanta debut.
The card marks promoter Top Rank’s return to Atlanta after a 14-year hiatus.
“We are thrilled to be back in Atlanta with a spectacular card headlined by a junior lightweight championship grudge match between a veteran champion and one of the sport’s supreme young talents,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “And with names like Ali Walsh, Ragan and Isley on the undercard, Atlanta’s great fight fans will see many of the sport’s most promising up-and-comers.”
Tickets go on sale Friday, Sept. 10 at 10 a.m. ET and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com.