Don’t look for Jamel Herring to get out of character from the constant barrage of trash talk from Shakur Stevenson, the man who will challenge him for the WBO junior lightweight title on October 23.
Herring, who faced off with Stevenson last week at the kickoff press conference in Atlanta, was told by his opponent that he was “too little” and and “didn’t have the heart” to last in the ring. Later, Stevenson even told BeatsBoxingMayhem that Herring was “mentally weak” and wouldn’t be able to handle an inside fight. When informed of these comments, Herring referenced his last fight as showing which man would have the advantage in trench warfare.
“That would surprise me (if he fought like that),” said Herring. ” If anything, he’s the one that plays is safety first and is a defensive fighter. But if he wants to make it a war on the inside, then we’ll see if I’m weak on the inside. On the inside is where I took out Carl Frampton. We’ll see.”
In a year where many of the top names were hampered by inactivity, Herring is acutely aware of a win over Stevenson would make him a strong contender for Fighter of the Year. The former marine feels like he’s just starting to get the respect he deserves from the boxing community. Therefore, the stakes are extremely high on the October 23 to retain and not become viewed as a stepping stone to Stevenson’s potential stardom.
“This is a great fight for my career,” explained Herring. “That’s why I’m not really worried about the trash talk that he’s saying because a huge victory would put me as the frontrunner for Fighter of the Year, especially if it’s a spectacular victory like the Frampton fight. Of course you have great guys like Canelo Alvarez, who I respect, but just to be mentioned in that category is an honor in itself. But I have to take care of business first on (October) 23.”
Watch Herring’s entire BeatsBoxingMayhem interview below. His matchup against Stevenson will air on ESPN live from Atlanta’s State Farm Arena.