U.S. Marine Corps veteran Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring completed his Hollywood story, upsetting WBO junior lightweight world champion Masayuki “The Judge” Ito via unanimous decision Saturday evening in front of a sold-out crowd of 2,912 at Osceola Heritage Park.
Herring (20-2, 10 KOs), who prevailed by scores of 116-112 and 118-110 2x, accomplished the dream on Memorial Day weekend in front of a host of active and reserve U.S. Marines.
“I want to dedicate this fight to my daughter, Ariyanah, who passed away from SIDs. Tonight would have been her 10th birthday, and I dedicate this title to her,” said Herring. “Ito was a tough competitor, but I always believed I could win a world title. This is a dream come true, and to do this on Memorial Day weekend makes it even sweeter.”
Ito (25-2-1, 13 KOs), who was making the second defense of his world title, never could quite figure out the southpaw puzzle of Herring.
Ito had some success in the early rounds, but in the end, it was Herring who closed the show stronger.
Said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum: “When we signed Jamel, a lot of people had their doubts, but he showed the heart of a world champion. He’s a true Marine and an American hero. We are so proud of what this young man has accomplished.”
Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank