Herring on preparing for Roach: ‘It’s probably been one of the best camps that I’ve had’

Under the bright lights, above where a pitcher’s mound normally stands, Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring will enter the ring for the first time as a champion.

Herring, who makes the first defense of his WBO junior lightweight world title against Lamont Roach Jr. Saturday evening (10 p.m. ET, ESPN+) at Chukchansi Park (home of the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies), is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served two tours of duty in Iraq. He won the world title on Memorial Day Weekend earlier this year and, in fitting fashion, will defend his belt on Veterans Day Weekend and the eve of the Marine Corps Birthday.

In the 10-round co-feature, IBF No. 1 heavyweight contender Kubrat Pulev (27-1, 14 KOs), seeking a 2020 world title shot, will face Detroit-based veteran Rydell Booker (26-2, 13 KOs). Pulev is angling for a shot at the winner of the Andy Ruiz Jr.-Anthony Joshua rematch, while the 38-year-old Booker is 4-1 since coming back to the ring following a 12-year prison sentence.

In other action, after the main event takes place, 19-year-old lightweight sensation Gabriel Flores Jr. (15-0, 6 KOs) will face Aelio Mesquita (19-4, 17 KOs) in an eight-rounder. Flores, from nearby Stockton, Calif., will have a rabid cheering section.

At Thursday’s final press conference, this is what the Herring and Roach had to say.

Jamel Herring:

On sparring with the likes of Terence Crawford and Maurice Hooker

“Those guys, they really helped. {Super middleweight contender} Steven Nelson being a veteran helped as well. He motivated me and pushed me… camp has been great. It’s probably been one of the best camps that I’ve had.”

On defending his title on the eve of the Marine Corps Birthday

“It’s all about what happens in the ring. All that will go in vain if I don’t play my part and perform to the best of my abilities and handle my business. It’s definitely great to be a Marine and basically be one of the only Marines on this type of platform. Of course, that’s a great feeling.”

Lamont Roach Jr.:

“It’s truly a blessing fighting on Veterans Day weekend just to honor my cousin, who was my late trainer. He was in the Army and dedicated his life to boxing. He was an All-Army champ in, I think, 1983, one of those years. Way before I was born. But he learned the game from them, and he gave the game to me. That old Army training is definitely in me. This weekend is a big weekend for all vets, but at the end of the day, it all boils down to one thing to me, and that’s inside the ring. It’s for that belt right there. Julie {Goldsticker, Herring’s publicist}, hold that belt up for me. It’s gonna go home with me, and I am going to go celebrate with the Washington Nationals and the Mystics, who won the WNBA championship.”

“I’m glad that my promotional company moved me the right way. I earned this spot. I wasn’t given this spot. All the hard work that I put in from 9 years old to now is going to show.”

“We know Jamel is a crafty fighter, but we’re gonna bring it to him. I think I can do anything in the ring better than him. I can be a better, taller fighter than him even though I’m shorter than him. I can beat him on the inside, I can beat him all around the ring. So, we’re going to see.”

Photo: Top Rank/Mikey Williams
Advertisements

Leave a Reply