Tuesday, June 06, 2023  |


Jamel Herring on his fight with Carl Frampton, Coronavirus and other world titleholders avoiding him

Jamel Herring holds court during a press conference for his title defense against Lamont Roach Jr. Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Fighters Network

Although most fights on the schedule are being postponed, as of now it’s all systems go for Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring (21-2, 12 KOs) versus Carl “The Jackal” Frampton (27-2, 15 KOs).

The junior lightweight title bout is tentatively scheduled for June 13 at a venue to be determined in Frampton’s hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland. The former junior featherweight and featherweight titleholder will challenge for his third world title, while the American will fight on foreign soil for the first time in his professional career.

The Ring caught up with the former Marine to get his thoughts on his biggest fight to date.

On the significance of the Frampton bout.

“It’s a big fight mainly due to the respect of my opponents name, the list of credentials he’s achieved in the sport, and the fact that he too is trying to create history on his part (as a three-division titleholder).”

Fighting in his opponent’s backyard in front of a hostile crowd.

“Honestly it never made a difference in my opinion, but since this Coronavirus scare spread like wildfire, I really don’t think it’s going to make much of a difference for anyone. I say that because lately people have been afraid to come out and sit in big crowds. Though I feel we’ll get this under (control), people will still be hesitant to really show up in huge atmospheres.”

Concerns about the Coronavirus outbreak and/or how it’s affecting training camp.

“I’m not concerned at all. I really believe that when it’s time to kick off my full eight-week training camp, things will have cooled down. Right now I’m actually using this down time to stay close with my family and rest my body. Truth be told, I’m usually a homebody, so staying in doesn’t really bother me. But I hope my team (with trainer Brian “Bomac” McIntyre, pound for pound star Terence Crawford, and others) is doing the damn thing right now back in Omaha, Nebraska”.

On how him being the naturally larger man could work to his advantage against Frampton.

“I still have to be smart and win rounds. Yes, I’m the bigger man and that’s definitely an advantage, but I still have to be cautious because Carl has more experience. The man isn’t a two-division world champion for nothing. But I honesty feel that he’s in way over his head, which is why I don’t mind going to Belfast. The results would be the same if the fight took place in New York. I’m not looking past him, but I’m coming into this fight with the mindset that he’s the champion and has something that I want! I’m hungry and I want to keep proving to people that I’m one of the best junior lightweights in the world!”

Herring and Carl Frampton.

On whether he’s dissected footage of Frampton and what he thinks of him as a fighter.

“I watch footage of everyone in my division, of course I’ve been watching Frampton! I’m a student of the game and you can always pick up on things from studying your opponent. It’s funny though because I’ve been watching Frampton long before the idea of us facing each other came to mind. I like Carl, I’m a fan, and this is just business. There’s never been any ill will towards him in any way and he’s been respectable to me in return.

“It’s like how Kobe Bryant and LeBron James used to compete against each other. They were very competitive, but they never had bad blood amongst one another, so I feel that I don’t have to be nasty or cruel towards Carl. Yes boxing is a brutal sport inside the ring, but outside of it, I’ll never jump out of character for anyone, and I believe that’s what has expanded my fan base. People respect me for me, but once that bell rings, I have to bring out the Marine and go to work.”

If things go well on June 13, who would he like to fight next.

“Sadly I can’t tell you what’s next because I have absolutely no clue. The reason I’m fighting Frampton is because I’ve tried to get these other champions and top contenders in the ring and none of them bothered to mention my name or look my way.

“We all know about the issues I’ve had with (WBC 130-pound titleholder) Miguel Berchelt for starters. The night I won my title (against Masayuki Ito last May), he called for a unification, which I gladly agreed to, but then he tells the world that he has no interest in fighting me. He used the old ‘he brings nothing to the table’ line against me. We’ve swept the beef under the rug since then, but I still don’t see that fight happening.

“(Former WBO 126-pound titleholder) Oscar Valdez is another who chose a different route. We all know how the WBO works by now. If you’re a champion vacating your title, you automatically become the #1 contender in the weight class above. A lot of people don’t know but Valdez became the #1 contender when I was in camp preparing for Lamont Roach! They moved Roach down to #2 in the rankings, even though he was my mandatory challenger and the fight was set in stone! Valdez and his team still chose to give up that opportunity and went a different route. The sad part is, they chose the WBC route to fight Berchelt, and I’ve been hearing that fight is in jeopardy due to egos, and of course financial issues.

“I would love to face Leo Santa Cruz, but he’s never showed much interest in fighting me. I don’t think I’d have the same luck that Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder had. Let’s be honest here, a fight with me and Leo wouldn’t be as big as Fury-Wilder, so the business aspect of Top Rank and PBC working together probably wouldn’t add up.

“Truth be told, I’m starting to feel like Winky Wright here. Before people get in an uproar, I’m not comparing myself to Winky in terms of skill or anything, but I’m seeing what he had to go through in his career to get the big fights. We all know what he went through before he got Shane Mosley, but even after he collected world titles, he still couldn’t get the big names like Oscar De La Hoya and others that he wanted. With that being said, I just need to focus on Frampton and beat him soundly. Who knows, maybe one of these word champions will step and unify with me, maybe they won’t. Either way, I’m going to make a huge splash in 2020.”


Michael Montero can be found on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram via @MonteroOnBoxing. His weekly podcast ‘The Neutral Corner’ can be heard on iTunes, Spotify, iHeartRadio and elsewhere.



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