Herring: ‘They called me every name in the book, but even with the cut, I wasn’t going to give up’

In the biggest fight of his career, Jamel Herring came up big and dominated and then stopped Carl Frampton in the sixth round to retain his WBO junior lightweight world title Saturday from Caesars Bluewaters Dubai.

The 35-year-old Herring (23-2, 11 KOs) dropped Frampton twice in the fight, the second one coming in the sixth round courtesy of a brutal uppercut. A follow-up assault prompted Frampton’s corner to throw in the towel, and with that, Herring gets his signature victory and his first stoppage win since May 2018.

“It was an emotional rollercoaster just to get here,” Herring said. “My last outing was not my best. People doubted me. They called me every name in the book, but even with the cut, I wasn’t going to give up. I wasn’t going to quit, and Carl Frampton is a tremendous champion. I’ve been a fan since day one. It’s tough to see any veteran of the sport go out like that.”

Frampton (28-3, 16 KOs), from Belfast, was attempting to become the first man from the island of Ireland to win world titles in three weight classes. Having fallen short of that goal, the 34-year-old elected to retire.

“I said before the fight I’d retire if I lost, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do,” Frampton said. “I want to just to dedicate my life to my family now. Boxing has been good to me. It’s also been bad to me, but the last few years with these boys have been the best years of my career. I just want to go home to my beautiful wife and kids, and that’s it.

“I just got beat by the better man. I really struggled to get inside on him.”

Will Frampton retire? Who knows. Boxers emotionally retire after fights all the time, so we’ll see what happens next. Regarding Herring, does he unify with WBC 130-pound champion Oscar Valdez, or will he battle WBO number one contender Shakur Stevenson? It should be interesting, but if you’re Herring, you want to unify, so Valdez, who is signed to Top Rank like Herring, and someone he called out after the fight, seems to be the obvious choice. 

Courtesy: D4G Promotions

Arum on Herring-Frampton: ‘It’s an even matchup’

 Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring’s WBO junior lightweight world title defense against Belfast’s former two-weight world champion Carl “The Jackal” Frampton — Saturday, April 3 from Caesars Bluewaters Dubai — will stream live and exclusively in the United States on ESPN+.

Herring-Frampton will headline a two-bout broadcast beginning at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT. In the 10-round junior welterweight co-feature, undefeated Kazakh star Zhankosh Turarov will fight Belfast native Tyrone McKenna.

Undercard action will stream live on ESPN+ at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.

“This is a fight that’s been in the works for a very long time, and I expect both Jamel and Carl to be at their best,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “It’s an even matchup, and I am pleased that fans in the United States can watch it live on ESPN+.”

Herring (22-2, 10 KOs) has made two defenses of the title he won from Masayuki Ito in May 2019, most recently defeating Puerto Rican challenger Jonathan Oquendo via disqualification last September at the MGM Grand Las Vegas Bubble. He was originally scheduled to face Frampton last summer in Belfast, but COVID-19 intervened. Frampton (28-2, 16 KOs), who won world titles at junior featherweight and featherweight, hopes to make history as the island of Ireland’s first three-division world champion. He has won two straight bouts since losing a unanimous decision to Josh Warrington in December 2018 for the IBF featherweight world title. In his lone ring appearance of 2020, Frampton knocked out late replacement foe Darren Traynor in the seventh round.

Undercard action streaming on ESPN+ includes:

Former four-weight world champion Donnie Nietes (42-1-5, 23 KOs) returns to action after more than two years away from the ring and will fight an opponent to be named in a 10-rounder at junior bantamweight. Nietes, from the Philippines, is one of four Asian fighters in boxing history to capture world titles in four weight classes.

Keyshawn Davis (1-0, 1 KOs), a former U.S. amateur standout who captured a silver medal at the 2019 World Championships, will take on an opponent to be named in a six-round lightweight bout.

Colbert: ‘Gervonta Davis, Leo Santa Cruz and Jamel Herring would all be great fights for me’

Unbeaten interim WBA Super Featherweight Champion Chris “Primetime” Colbert will look to make a statement in his first nationally televised main event as he faces hard-hitting Jaime Arboleda live on SHOWTIME this Saturday, December 12 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

“I always knew I was going to get here,” said Colbert. “It’s all God’s plan. This is just going to be another day for me and I’ll show everyone why I’m one of the best 130-pounders in the world.”

The 24-year-old Colbert has shot up the rankings of the 130-pound weight class and believes that a victory on Saturday night will lead to bigger opportunities in the jam-packed division.

“This is one of the most stacked divisions in boxing and I love competing in it,” said Colbert. “It’s great to be getting noticed in a division that has this much talent, and hopefully it’ll lead to me getting the big fights that I need. I don’t feel like there’s any certain fighter I’m targeting, but Gervonta Davis, Leo Santa Cruz and Jamel Herring would all be great fights for me. Beating them would help me become ‘the guy’ in the division.”

Colbert‘s rise continued in his last fight, as he scored a 10th-round knockdown against former champion Jezreel Corrales on his way to a decision win while showing an impressive array of skills against a fighter determined to slow the action through holding and other veteran tricks.

“Against Corrales I learned not to rush,” said Colbert. “It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. I can’t just go rush in there and expect everyone to get knocked out. I had to take my time, do what I do best and stick to my game plan.”

In the 26-year-old Arboleda, Colbert will be presented with another rising 130-pound contender with his own sights set on emerging amongst the elite in the division. Arboleda has won five of his last six fights by stoppage and most recently dropped Jayson Velez on his way to a decision victory in February on SHOWTIME.

“Come December 12, I’m ready for whatever he brings,” said Colbert. “I expect him to bring pressure and ‘try’ to make me tired because that’s the only chance he has. He can’t outbox me. That’s not happening. But I love to bang inside and I’m ready for whatever he does. I hope he doesn’t run or clinch me because I’d love to get the knockout and get him out of there early.”

The Brooklyn-native Colbert has continued to work with his longtime coach Aureliano Sosa in his hometown through the difficulties of the pandemic. Those difficulties have led to Colbert sparring with larger welterweight and super welterweights in camp, which Colbert believes could help him with the power Arboleda will bring into the fight.

“Training camp has been going great for the most part,” said Colbert. “It’s just been a little hard finding sparring partners. But because it’s been difficult to find fighters at my weight I’ve actually been sparring with 147 and 154-pound fighters. I honestly love that because it prepares me better, and who’s to say that Arboleda won’t have power like them? I’m on weight now, though, and ready to put on a show on December 12.”

Herring: ‘I’m disappointed with the outcome’

Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring made up for the COVID-related postponements, defending his WBO junior lightweight world title via eighth-round disqualification over Puerto Rican challenger Jonathan Oquendo at the MGM Grand Conference Center.

Referee Tony Weeks stopped the fight at the round’s conclusion due to repeated intentional headbutts from Oquendo, which left Herring unable to continue.

Herring (22-2, 10 KOs) knocked down Oquendo (31-7, 19 KOs) in the second round, and then the headbutts began. He opened up a nasty gash above Herring’s right eye and was deducted a point in the fifth round.

The headbutts continued and ultimately spelled the end of the evening for Oquendo. At the time of the disqualification, Herring was in control on the scorecards (80-70 2x and 79-71).

“It just got ugly. I wasn’t too satisfied with my performance, to be honest with you,” Herring said after the fight. “In the beginning, everything was going real smooth, me boxing. I put him down with an uppercut. We knew he was going to come head-first. We had to time it. In the end, I wasn’t happy with how I was looking. I’m disappointed with the outcome. I’ve never been in that situation. 

“I still want the Carl Frampton fight next by all means. November, December, whatever. I still want that fight next.”

The 34-year-old Herring did not have one of his better performances against Oquendo, but he did drop him and was in complete control of the fight in terms of the scorecards. Maybe you could argue Herring quit, which ESPN analyst and former world champion Tim Bradley said after the fight, but in the end, it’s win and move on. Now, it’s time to get ready for Frampton.

So Good, So Cold

Steven “So Cold” Nelson (17-0, 14 KOs) retained his NABO super middleweight belt with a one-sided sixth-round TKO victory over Toledo firefighter DeAndre Ware (13-3-2, 8 KOs). Nelson, from Omaha, Neb., has now won four in a row via stoppage.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Nelson, who suffered a pair of headbutt-induced cuts. The blood, however, served as fuel for the knockout to come.

Nelson said, “When that second cut came, I was like, I know how fighters are when they see an injury. So I said, ‘You know what, I have to get to work. My plan was to go out there and feel him out, don’t rush it too much. That’s why the first couple of rounds, I wasn’t doing too much, and then I picked it up. The headbutt was the perfect time for me to pick it up.

“I feel like I’m ready for a title eliminator and then let’s go for the title. That was my whole plan, to set myself up where they can’t deny me a world title.”

—Watch out for light flyweight Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez. The San Antonio native knocked out the normally durable Janiel Rivera (18-7-3, 11 KOs) in the opening round, the first time Rivera had been knocked out since 2014. Rodriguez is trained by Robert Garcia, and his brother, Joshua Franco, recently won a super flyweight world title inside the “Bubble.”

Rodriguez said, “I felt amazing. I told Robert in the locker room, ‘This is the best I’ve ever felt.’ I think I showed that today.

“To have a brother as a champion is really motivating to me. In camp, I was thinking that my brother became a champ, and I can do the same. There were times in camp I didn’t feel like working out or running, but I thought about my brother, and he motivated me. Just the thought of him being a world champ brought out the best of me in camp.”

— Six opponents, six knockouts. Heavyweight sensation Jared “The Real Big Baby” Anderson (6-0, 6 KOs) knocked out veteran Rodney Hernandez (13-10-2, 4 KOs) in four rounds, the first time Anderson has been pushed past the third round. Anderson, from Toledo, Ohio, has won three fights inside the “Bubble” since June.

Anderson said, “We’re ready for everybody. We’re building up. Bob {Arum} is moving me perfectly. It was about getting those rounds in and showing I can really box. I’m not just a puncher. I know how to box, and I know how to stay on my back foot.

“I’m listening to the commentators more, getting a lot of learning experiences. It’s helping a lot {with me} taking my time and slowing down.”

—Welterweight Benjamin Whitaker (14-4, 3 KOs) upset the previously undefeated D’Andre Smith (8-1, 5 KOs) via six-round unanimous decision by scores of 60-54 2x and 59-55. Whitaker previously fought in the “Bubble” on June 25, when he dropped a majority decision to Vlad Panin.

— Colombian knockout artist Ruben Cervera (13-2, 11 KOs) picked up his second “Bubble” victory, knocking out New Orleans native Rennard Oliver (7-3-3) in the second round of a scheduled six-round junior lightweight bout. A right hand froze Oliver against the ropes, prompting referee Russell Mora to stop the fight.

— Edward Vazquez (8-0, 1 KO) survived the stiffest test of his career, outlasting Adan Ochoa (11-2, 4 KOs) via unanimous decision (58-55 2x and 57-56) in a six-rounder at featherweight. Ochoa knocked down Vazquez in the second round, but Vazquez won the last four rounds on two of the judges’ cards to pull away.

— In a competitive four-round featherweight tilt, Philadelphia-born prospect Rashiem Jefferson improved to 2-0 with a unanimous decision over Jose Martinez (2-2, 1 KO) by scores of 40-36 2x and 39-37.

Photo: Top Rank Boxing/Mikey Williams

Frampton on Herring: ‘That’s the fight that I want’

Former two-weight world champion Carl “The Jackal” Frampton  participated in a Zoom press conference on Wednesday. Frampton, who is currently campaigning at junior lightweight, will make a pit stop at lightweight against Scottish veteran Darren Traynor.

Here is what Frampton and Top Rank chairman Bob Arum had to say.

Carl Frampton:

On the late opponent switch and fighting at lightweight rather than junior lightweight

“Obviously, it was a disaster, the whole lead-up regarding opponents. I have to give MTK Global credit. They assumed there could’ve been {an issue} because of the current situation that the whole world is facing. It turned out Corona didn’t affect anything, but the issue was visa problems for {Vahram} Vardanyan, the original opponent. I think Traynor has been paid by MTK for the last four or five weeks on the chance that this fight may have come about. So, Traynor has been training for me for five weeks. I’ve been training for him for one week.”

On fighting as a lightweight for the first time

It hasn’t really affected me, to be honest. I’ve enjoyed this fight week more than any other because I’ve been doing the weight OK.

“Although I’m short in stature, I walk around about 150, 148 anyway. {Traynor} is probably doing me a favor as well.”

On the Jamel Herring fight

“That’s the fight that I want. We kind of had a date agreed — June 13 was the proposed date, and I think everything was pretty much set to go and the fight was going to happen. And I supposed with it kind of falling away that he wouldn’t be as keen anymore or maybe Top Rank wouldn’t be as keen to make the fight, or the governing body. But everyone seems on board. I want the fight. Jamel wants it. Top Rank and Bob Arum want it. I think that is the plan, to have that fight next.”

On a potential third Leo Santa Cruz fight

“I don’t see that fight ever happening. I think Leo did promise that, but I think, to be honest, he’s full of sh*t. The fight could’ve happened if he wanted it to happen. It never has, and it’s a shame.”

Bob Arum:

On the status of Herring vs. Frampton

“If Jamel is successful {Sept. 5 against Jonathan Oquendo}, and if Carl is successful on Saturday, I have a date picked out in November where they’ll fight for the title. That’s done. Everyone is on board. One thing I can’t control is the virus, but we’re going to do that fight in November. It may very well be another ‘Bubble’ fight.

“If both guys win these interim fights, you can count on a world title fight between Herring and Frampton in November.”

Herring on fight with Oquendo: ‘I feel 10 times better than I did three weeks ago’

WBO junior lightweight world champion Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring hopes the wait is finally over. Herring, a decorated U.S. Marine veteran from Coram, N.Y., will make his second world title defense Saturday, Sept. 5 against Puerto Rican challenger Jonathan Oquendo at the MGM Grand Conference Center. Herring and Oquendo were scheduled to fight July 2, then July 14, but Herring twice tested positive for COVID-19.

In the 10-round super middleweight co-feature, it’s a battle of the Midwest as Omaha’s unbeaten Steven “So Cold” Nelson takes on Toledo’s DeAndre Ware.

Herring-Oquendo and Nelson-Ware will stream live on ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET, with undercard action to stream on ESPN+ beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET.

“Jamel has had a run of bad luck, but his fortunes will change for the better inside the ‘Bubble’ on September 5,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Oquendo is a crafty veteran who understands this may be his last shot at a world title, and I expect him to give ‘The Fighting Marine’ one heck of a fight.”

Herring said, “This postponement is a blessing in disguise because I feel 10 times better than I did three weeks ago. I’m grateful to have another opportunity to get back in the ring. I’ve fully recovered from COVID-19 and I’m more than ready for anything Jonathan Oquendo brings on September 5. Our team has a great game plan and we are eager to carry it out.”

Oquendo said, “I am very happy with finally getting this opportunity to challenge Herring for his world title, as the fight has been canceled twice because of COVID-19. At one point, I thought that maybe the fight was not going to happen, but thanks to God, we are now ready for September 5.

“We are going to win. We are in a very positive mindset. We are going to leave everything in the ring. It’s now or never. It would be a great accomplishment to become world champion at 37. That’s what we are going to do.”

Herring (21-2, 10 KOs) returns following the longest layoff of his career, nearly 10 months since he outpointed the previously unbeaten Lamont Roach Jr. at an outdoor ballpark in Fresno, Calif. Soon after his most recent positive COVID-19 test, he received a clean bill of health and resumed training camp in Omaha, Neb. Oquendo (31-6, 19 KOs) rebounded from a March 2019 decision defeat to Roach to shut out Charles Huerta last September. He is 5-1 since a December 2015 defeat to Jesus Cuellar for the WBA featherweight world title.

Nelson (16-0, 13 KOs), who trains alongside Herring and pound-for-pound king Terence Crawford in Omaha, recently moved down from light heavyweight and is ranked No. 8 by the WBO at super middleweight. He last fought in January, knocking out then-unbeaten prospect Cem Kilic on ESPN. A talented artist who designs his fight night attire— he entered the ring as The Grinch with a Santa hat against Kilic — Nelson hopes to notch his fourth knockout in a row. Ware (13-2-2, 8 KOs), a Toledo firefighter when he’s not fighting in the ring, is two fights removed from a February 2019 decision win over the previously unbeaten Ronald Ellis.

Nelson said, “I’ve been training and staying ready in Omaha with my team. Now it’s time to clock in for overtime. No audience? I don’t need cheers to do my job. I’m focused on the task at hand, which is to defeat DeAndre Ware.”

Herring tests positive for COVID-19, fight with Oquendo is off

Tuesday’s Top Rank on ESPN main event between WBO junior lightweight world champion Jamel Herring and Jonathan Oquendo will not proceed as scheduled after Herring tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this morning. The highly anticipated Mikaela Mayer-Helen Joseph junior lightweight bout will be Tuesday’s main event (ESPN & ESPN Deportes, 9 p.m. ET).

Said Herring, “I’m extremely disappointed that I’m not going to be able to fight tomorrow night. As I’ve shared previously, I tested positive for COVID-19 on June 22 after exhibiting symptoms. I quarantined and recovered as directed by my doctor. I then retested on July 3 and my test was negative, so this result is a complete surprise. I was fully prepared to make my second title defense tomorrow night. I am hoping that my team and Top Rank can reschedule this fight soon. Thank you for all the support everyone has shown. I can’t wait to get back in the ring and perform.”

In addition, the Luis Melendez-Eddie Vazquez bout has been canceled due to Melendez testing positive for COVID-19.

The ESPN telecast will continue as follows:

Main Event: Mikaela Mayer vs. Helen Joseph, 10 Rounds, Junior Lightweight
Clay Collard vs. Lorawnt-T Nelson, 6 Rounds, Middleweight
Ruben Cervera vs. Clay Burns, 6 Rounds, Lightweight
Javier Martinez (Pro Debut) vs. Jonathan Burrs, 4 Rounds, Middleweight

Herring-Oquendo set for July 14

Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring and Mikaela Mayer, both of whom are healthy following recent positive COVID-19 test results that delayed their fights, are primed for their “Bubble” debuts.

U.S. Marine veteran Herring will make his second world title defense against Puerto Rican challenger Jonathan “Polvo” Oquendo on Tuesday, July 14, at the MGM Grand Conference Center — Grand Ballroom.

In the co-feature, undefeated 2016 U.S. Olympian Mayer will fight former world title challenger Helen Joseph in a 10-round junior lightweight showdown.

The undercard will feature the anticipated “Bubble” encore of “Cassius” Clay Collard, who will fight LT “Smash” Nelson in a six-round middleweight bout. Collard, 3-0 in 2020 (all against previously undefeated fighters), took the “0” from highly decorated prospect David Kaminsky on June 18.

Herring-Oquendo, Mayer-Joseph, Collard-Nelson, and additional undercard action will air live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

“Jamel and Mikaela wanted to come back as soon as possible, and we were happy to oblige them,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “They are healthy and ready to put forth tremendous performances.”

Herring (21-2, 10 KOs) makes his 2020 debut following a banner 2019 that saw him upset Masayuki Ito to win the title, and outpoint Lamont Roach Jr. in front of more than 7,000 fans at an outdoor baseball stadium in Fresno, Calif. Herring and Oquendo were set to fight July 2 but Herring’s COVID-19 results delayed the fight 12 days. Herring, the 2012 U.S. Olympic boxing team captain, is 5-0 since inking a multi-fight deal with Top Rank.

Herring said, “I am back, healthy and 100 percent ready to defend my world title. Oquendo is a tough opponent who realizes this is his last chance to win a world title. He’s coming for what I have and I’m not going to cut any corners. I will return home to celebrate with my family and my belt.”

Oquendo (31-6, 19 KOs), from Bayamon, Puerto Rico, challenged Jesus Cuellar for a featherweight world title in December 2015 and is 5-1 since moving up to junior lightweight. He earned the title shot following last November’s shutout decision win over Charles Huerta, which came off the heels of a controversial decision loss to Roach Jr.

Oquendo said, “We know Jamel is a slippery, tall, left-handed fighter who has an advantage in range, but we are working for that and we know that we will have no problems. My company knows how hard I fight and how hard I train. Fans like Jonathan Oquendo because he makes for great fights.”

In less than three years as a professional, Mayer (12-0, 5 KOs) has become one of the faces of female boxing. She closed out her 2019 campaign last October with a sixth-round stoppage over Alejandra Soledad Zamora. The Los Angeles native is on track for a world title shot this year, but she must defeat Joseph (17-4-2, 10 KOs), a native of Lagos, Nigeria, who is coming off a competitive decision loss to former lightweight champion Delfine Persoon.

Mayer said, “After having two fights canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am relieved and excited to be back and grateful to Top Rank for getting me back on a card so quickly. I’m not the fighter you last saw in October. I’ve had three camps to peak myself and grow as an athlete. A whole new fighter is stepping in that ring on July 14, so I hope Helen is ready.”

In undercard action:

Puerto Rican featherweight prospect Luis Melendez (8-1, 6 KOs) will take on Edward “Kid” Vazquez (7-0, 1 KO) in an eight-rounder. Two of Vazquez’s last three wins have come against previously undefeated opponents, while Melendez has won six in a row since the lone defeat of his career.

Colombian puncher Ruben “El Tigrillo” Cervera (11-2, 10 KOs) will fight Clay “3rd Degree” Burns (9-8-2, 4 KOs) in a six-rounder at lightweight. Cervera was stopped by Miguel Marriaga last May, but he returned with a knockout win over Luis Carlos Lugo in October. Burns made a notable “Bubble” impression on June 25, losing an action-filled split decision to Reymond Yanong.

Unbeaten junior lightweight prospect William Villa (4-0) will face Eduardo Sanchez (2-2) in a four-rounder.

Herring on Berchelt: ‘In order to be the best, you have to keep testing yourself’

Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, retained his WBO junior lightweight world title with a Veterans Day Weekend unanimous decision (115-113 and 117-111 2X) win over top contender Lamont Roach Jr. in front of 7,412 fans at Chukchansi Park.

Herring controlled the action early, but Roach landed a hellacious right hand at the end of the 11th that nearly sent Herring through the ropes. Roach pressed the action in the 12th, but it was too little, too late, as “The Fighting Marine” made his first successful title defense.

“I won {the title} on Memorial Day Weekend and I defended it on Veterans Day Weekend, so it definitely means a lot to all of our troops out there defending our country and still in harm’s way,” Herring said. “This is for ya’ll. I couldn’t lose it on our weekend. It means a lot to still be a world champion.

“Like I said, Miguel Berchelt is considered number one, the best super featherweight in the world. In order to be the best, you have to keep testing yourself.”

Said Roach: “We knew we had to dig down. When I hurt him, all that was on my mind was finishing him. I’m coming into unchartered territory.”

Photo: Top Rank Boxing/Mikey Williams

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