Sources: Herring, Stevenson to battle Oct. 23

Boxing

Jamel Herring and Shakur Stevenson will conflict Oct. 23 at Atlanta’s State Farm Enviornment after each boxers signed contracts for the 130-pound title battle, sources instructed ESPN on Thursday.

Herring and Stevenson each will earn no less than $1.5 million — career-high paydays — for a bout that may headline High Rank Boxing on ESPN/ESPN+, sources mentioned. ESPN reported last week that the deal was agreed to, avoiding a handbag bid.

“I instructed [Stevenson] … that when the battle occurs, I do know it will likely be his hardest battle,” Herring instructed ESPN final month. “I mentioned it to his face: ‘I will be your largest battle, your largest take a look at.’

“I have been in there with higher guys than he is fought by far.”

Herring (23-2, 11 KOs) gained the title with a call victory over Masayuki Ito in December 2018, and has made three profitable defenses. The 35-year-old’s finest efficiency got here in his most up-to-date outing, a sixth-round TKO of former champion Carl Frampton in Dubai.

Herring, ESPN’s No. 4-rated junior light-weight, will now face by far the hardest problem of his profession. The identical additionally may very well be mentioned for Stevenson.

The 24-year-old, an Olympic silver medalist and former 126-pound champion, hasn’t confronted a wily veteran fairly like Herring. In reality, his previous three opponents sat far outdoors ESPN’s high 10. However along with his mix of defensive expertise, ring consciousness and footwork, southpaw Stevenson (16-0, 8 KOs) will likely be favored to develop into a two-division champion.

The Newark, New Jersey, native is coming off a lackluster efficiency in June, a unanimous resolution victory over Jeremiah Nakathila. Stevenson, ESPN’s No. 3 at 130 kilos, was in management by all 12 rounds however by no means threatened to place the flippantly regarded fighter away, resulting in criticism from followers.

Towards restricted opposition, defensive-minded Stevenson hasn’t all the time thrilled, however confronted with a decided champion like Herring, this matchup may very well be completely different.

“We acquired awkward opponents with actual good punching energy; it is not all the time straightforward to shine,” Stevenson instructed ESPN final month. “I ain’t the one one which went by this. I’m going again and take a look at previous Floyd Mayweather fights. … [HBO commentators] Emanuel Steward and Larry Service provider, they’re saying Floyd Mayweather, ‘He isn’t that good. He is a really, very boring fighter.’

“I’m going battle Jamel Herring subsequent and go beat him after which go beat Oscar Valdez. They’re going to be saying I am the perfect younger fighter and put me on the pound-for-pound checklist.”

If this subsequent bout brings Stevenson an opportunity at redemption, it additionally affords Herring a chance for vindication. A late bloomer in boxing who served two excursions in Iraq as a Marine, Herring reinvented himself after signing with High Rank in 2018. The Lengthy Island native’s April victory confirmed that, maybe, he is nonetheless being ignored.

Towards Frampton, Herring used his superior top and attain to stroll the Irishman into crisp mixtures. He additionally confirmed off one other underrated device: energy.

Together with his confidence now brimming heading into the largest battle of his life, Herring is hoping to upset the chances as soon as once more and transfer on to a title unification with Valdez. Stevenson, in the meantime, is wanting to make use of Herring as a steppingstone to stardom.

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