Jamel Herring returns to action to honor fellow veterans against Nicholas Molina
Jamel Herring could have stayed retired. Then again, that is not in his DNA.
If Herring steps away from the sport, it is because he will step away on his own terms.
Herring will begin a new chapter of his career tonight, as he squares off against unbeaten Nicholas Molina at the Edison Ballroom in New York City. The 10-round bout will headline a Broadway Boxing card that will stream live on DAZN (7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT).
At Monday’s weigh-in, Herring weighed in at 131.8 pounds. Molina came in at 131.2 pounds.
Herring (23-4, 11 knockouts) had fought in several different locales, here in the United States and abroad, but was able to land a fight near his hometown. Herring grew up in nearby Coram, New York, which is on Long Island.
The last time Herring fought in the New York City area was in May 2018, when he defeated Juan Pablo Sanchez by knockout at Madison Square Garden on the Vasiliy Lomachenko-Jorge Linares card.
Jerry Cazarez, who manages Herring, collaborated with the former WBO world junior lightweight titleholder before deciding to embark on another opportunity at 130 pounds, despite Herring’s last fight taking place at lightweight. That fight was a unanimous decision loss to Jamaine Ortiz on May 21 of last year.
“Jamel has and will always be around boxing,” Cazarez told The Ring Sunday night. “He is currently a color commentator and now he manages fighters.
“He had the loss to Ortiz, but that was as a lightweight. He’s still very fit and active. He very much believes that he can fight and beat anyone at 130 pounds.
“You have to take into account that the junior lightweight division has changed since Jamel was champion. The fighters who were in that weight class are now lightweights and now those who are at 130 pounds used to be featherweights.”
Herring won the WBO world junior lightweight title by defeating Masayuki Ito in May 2019. He would make three successful defenses, including the win over Carl Frampton in April 2021, before losing the title to Shakur Stevenson in October of that year.
Cazarez believes Herring can beat any of the current fighters at 130 pounds.
“Jamel can beat any of the top fighters,” said Cazarez. “He doesn’t mind going to Europe to face (IBF titleholder) Joe Cordina. There’s the (Emanuel) Navarrete fight. He has a lot of options moving forward.”
The 38-year-old Herring will face an unbeaten fighter in Molina (13-0, 5 KOs), who resides in Lowell, Massachusetts. Herring will be a major step-up in opposition for the 24-year-old Molina, who defeated journeyman Aldimar Silva by unanimous decision in his last bout on July 14.
Tonight’s card, which is being promoted by Lou DiBella, coincides with the Veterans’ Day holiday. A portion of ticket sales will go to support military charities.
Herring served in the United States Marine Corps, serving two tours of duty in Iraq during the Gulf War. Herring is proud of the legacy he left serving his country, but wanted to do more.
“Jamel is very proud of being a Marine. This event means a lot to him because of it being affiliated with helping military families.
“He’s also looking forward to returning to the ring in front of family and friends. I’m confident Jamel will look great (tonight) and will look forward to seeing what’s next for Jamel.”
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]