Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring and Shakur Stevenson have been talking about fighting each other for some time, and now, it’s on!
Herring will defend his WBO junior lightweight world title against former featherweight world champion Stevenson on Saturday, October 23, at State Farm Arena in Atlanta(ESPN).
The 35-year-old Herring (23-2, 11 KOs), a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, is looking to make his fourth straight successful title defense against Stevenson(16-0, 8 KOs).
Herring was at his best in April when he knocked out former two-weight world champion Carl Frampton in Dubai. However, defeating Stevenson won’t be easy, but when it’s all said and done, Herring plans to end the year the way he started it, which means a win.
“2021 has been good to me so far. I started the year with a big fight and a major win over Frampton,” Herring said via a press release. “I look forward to finishing out the year the same way I started it, not only with another huge victory but as a world champion. I have nothing else to say. I’m focused on October 23 and the fourth title defense of my WBO belt.”
Stevenson is 3-0 at junior lightweight, most recently picking up the interim WBO junior lightweight world title in June with a shutout decision over Namibia’s Jeremiah Nakathila.
According to the 24-year-old Stevenson, a former WBO featherweight world champion who vacated the title last year to move up to junior lightweight, Herring had no choice but to fight him.
“Jamel had to fight me, or he would’ve been stripped of his world title,” Stevenson said. “I boxed him into a corner, and I am going to take his world title in devastating fashion on October 23. I can’t wait to fight in front of the amazing fans in Atlanta. Trust me, you are going to see a show, and I will become a two-weight world champion.”
This is Stevenson’s moment to shine, but Herring won’t lie down. Expect a fun night in ATL.
Ali Walsh goes for victory number two:
Nico Ali Walsh (1-0, 1 KO), grandson of “The Greatest,” Muhammad Ali, looks to make it 2 for 2 against an opponent to be named in a four-round middleweight special attraction.
Ali Walsh’s Aug. 14 professional debut drew international media attention, and he knocked out Jordan Weeks in the opening round while wearing a pair of his grandfather’s old trunks. He’ll make his ring return in a city that hosted two of Muhammad Ali’s most memorable moments. State Farm Arena sits less than two miles from the Atlanta Olympic Cauldron Tower, where Ali lit the Olympic flame at the 1996 Summer Olympics. In October 1970, Ali fought Jerry Quarry at City Auditorium, his first fight in more than three years after being banned from the ring for refusing induction into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. Ali Walsh’s second pro fight will come three days shy of the 51st anniversary of the Quarry fight, which Ali won by third-round knockout.
The undercard — streaming live and exclusively on ESPN+ — will see the professional comeback of U.S. Olympic silver medalist Duke Ragan (4-0, 1 KO) in a six-round featherweight bout, Ragan’s Olympic teammate Troy Isley (2-0, 1 KO) in a six-rounder at middleweight, Georgia native Haven Brady Jr. (3-0, 3 KOs) in a four-round featherweight tilt, and the A-Town debut of junior middleweight prospect Evan “Yung Holy” Holyfield (7-0, 5 KOs), an Atlanta native and the son of heavyweight legend Evander Holyfield.