Shakur Stevenson vs. Jamel Herring a pivotal matchup

It wouldn’t be reasonable to state that Shakur Stevenson will have his coming out celebration on Saturday when he challenges Jamel Herring for the WBO junior light-weight title in Atlanta, since Stevenson currently owns an Olympic silver medal in addition to an expert world title at featherweight.

However in numerous methods, the unbeaten Stevenson’s efficiency versus Herring will specify the early part of his profession.

Stevenson is a huge 9-1 preferred at BetMGM over Herring, who is making the 3rd defense of his title. The affable Herring is barely troubled by the chances, which is reasonable when you’ve been through what Herring has actually been through.

A Marine, Herring served 2 trips of responsibility in Iraq. He lost a kid to unexpected baby death syndrome. He’s consistently been crossed out as a professional and is often a wagering underdog.

He’s not one to get his sensations injured, even when seeing the chances and hearing all of the appreciation for his challenger.

“I believe a win here will elevate me to a different status in this game,” Herring stated. “But at the end of the day, I’m just me. I am not worried about that stuff. I don’t care about the hype. I don’t care about being an underdog. I’m happy in my own skin. I don’t need to be the top dog or the highest-paid athlete or anything.

“I live comfortably and I’m happy with who I am. I want my story to represent that even though at times, I didn’t get the best backing or get the most credit, how it played out was in my hands and you can do anything you put your mind to.”

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - SEPTEMBER 09: Jamel Herring (L) and Shakur Stevenson (R) face-off during their press conference for the WBO super featherweight championship at Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center on September 09, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kyle Hess/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

WBO extremely featherweight champ Jamel Herring (L) aims to safeguard his title Saturday versus Shakur Stevenson (R) in Atlanta. (Image by Kyle Hess/Top Rank Inc through Getty Images)

Beating Stevenson is going to take the efficiency of a life time. Stevenson is a slick fighter who has whatever one would wish to see. He’s derided in some corners for not having enough power, as critics indicate his 8 knockouts in his 16 battles as proof he can’t punch. However the terrific Floyd Mayweather dealt with the exact same type of criticism early in his profession. In two of his defining fights, Mayweather was brilliant in stopping both Genaro Hernandez and Diego Corrales.

Stevenson isn’t of a mind to hear about his power, particularly from the media.

“At the end of the day, writers are just like fans and I can’t hear them say things because y’all don’t know about sitting down on punches or placing punches or anything like that,” he said. “My coaches know that and know what I need to do. I can’t hear a writer say something about sitting down on my punches and really take it seriously because y’all don’t know.”

But what those who have seen Stevenson for a long time know is that talent oozes out of every pore and that he’s the kind of guy who is good enough to one day be the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world.

He said he believes he’ll move up to welterweight at some point in his profession and win titles along the way, but he’s got more important issues in front of him.

His motivation is high because his girlfriend is pregnant with his first child, who is due to be born on Dec. 9. If becoming a 2-division world champion at age 24 weren’t enough, he’s got something extra to fight for on Saturday.

“[Becoming a father] is really important and it’s made me so hungry,” he stated. “I really want to be a champion when she’s born.”

He’ll have actually to beat one of the toughest guys in the sport to do it. And while Herring concedes Stevenson’s physical gifts, he points out that’s not all there is to boxing.

The faster person, or the more powerful guy, doesn’t always win. Stevenson figures to be substantially faster and quicker, but Herring believes he has an antidote for that.

“It’s all about timing,” Herring stated. “Timing beats speed, but you have to be alert at all times. I’m pretty sure he’s going to come out hard, but like I said, go look at the stats. I’m pretty sure his output starts to dwindle after the fight’s been going for a bit. I’m expecting the best Shakur Stevenson there’s been, and I’m not overlooking him for a second.

“I’ve pointed out stuff I’ve seen in the past and that I need to look out for. I can take all that information and put it together and better myself at the end of the day.”

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.