Photos / Video: Shakur Stevenson taunts Jamel Herring at weigh-in

Shakur Stevenson (16-0, 8 KOs) taunted WBO super featherweight champion Jamel Herring during Friday’s weigh-in, trying to grab his belt from him and trash-talking when the two faced off moments after weighing in successfully.

Making the fourth defense of his WBO title, Herring (23-2, 11 KOs) weighed in at 129.8 lbs and looked in great shape. For his part, #1 WBO mandatory Stevenson weighed in at 130-lbs on the dot.

Herring vs. Stevenson will be headlining this Saturday night at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta. The fight card will be shown on ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+, 10:30 p.m. ET / 7:30 p.m. PT)

The winner of the Herring vs. Stevenson fight could potentially face WBO 130-lb champion Oscar Valdez in a unification match in 2022.

Of course, that’ll be up to Top Rank boss Bob Arum if he wants to match one of them against the popular Valdez.

Herring vs. Stevenson undercard weights:

  • Xander Zayas 153.2. lbs vs. Dan Karpency 153.2 lbs
  • Nico Ali Walsh 162 lbs vs. James Westley II 159.6 lbs
  • Evan Holyfield 151.6 lbs vs. Charles Stanford 151.6 lbs
  • Troy Isley 156.8 lbs vs. Nicholi Navarro 156 lbs
  • Roddricus Livsey 142.4 lbs vs. Eric Palmer 141 lbs
  • Haven Brady Jr. 127 lbs vs. Roberto Negrete 127 lbs
  • Antoine Cobb 144.2 lbs vs. Jerrion Campbell 142.4 lbs
  • Harley Mederos 136 lbs vs. Deljerro Revello 135.8 lbs

Two avoided fighters: Herring & Shakur

“It’s the biggest fight in the division, hands down. Not just in the division but in boxing as a whole, especially for this year,” said Herring when asked what this fight against Stevenson means to him.

“It’s a very important fight not only for boxing but for my career as well,” said Herring.

“It means a lot to me too. You got to realize this is my first time fighting a champion, so I finally get a chance to show the type of level I’m on,” said Shakur Stevenson.

“I feel like the world will respect me more after Saturday,” Stevenson continued. “It doesn’t matter who the champion is, but he stepped up, and you got to respect him for stepping up, unlike those other fighters.

“I got to be honest with you. They [WBO] kind of forced this fight to happen, and now that we’re here, it’s time, so we got to do it. I called Oscar Valdez’s name several times before I called Jamel Herring’s name.

“I don’t care who it is. I’m going to show up regardless and be myself,” said Stevenson.

“It’s a good fight. It’s two of the best in the division, so I’m not mad,” said Herring. “But others don’t want to fight us; we know that. Before Valdez beat [Miguel] Berchelt, I called for that unification. I couldn’t get that fight.

“So, I know what he’s [Shakur] gone through to get here because when you’re trying to go through other champions, it’s hard to make them get in the ring with you,” said Herring. “Sometimes, you got to take what’s available.

“That just comes with the territory,” said Herring about him frequently pulling off the upset. “I get so used to it that I don’t really pay attention.

Like Shakur said, I could have been the guy that vacated and ran up North [135] or whatever, but I felt there were still some great fights to be made regardless of wherever they put me in terms of being the favorite or not.

“People are talking about this fight, and that’s what matters to me,” said Herring. “If it were just an easy fight, no one would care. A lot of people are talking about this fight, and I’m just happy to get the opportunity,” said Herring.

If Herring loses the fight, he can always go up to lightweight and look to go after one of the titles after IBF/WBA/WBO champion Teofimo Lopez vacates them in 2022.

There are some excellent fights for Herring at lightweight even without Teofimo there, but it’s going to be tough for him.

The significant size advantage that Herring has typically enjoyed in his fights at super featherweight won’t be as substantial after he moves up to 135. He might be better off staying at 130.

Herring won his WBO title in 2019, beating Masayuki Ito by a 12 round unanimous decision.

In Herring’s three successful title defenses since winning the belt, he’s beaten Lamont Roach, Jonathan Oquendo, and Carl  Frampton.

The victory over former two-division world champion Frampton is easily the best of Herring’s career, as he dismantled an excellent fighter in winning a sixth round knockout last April in Dubai.

Stevenson says “its business”

“It’s business,” said Stevenson when asked whether it’s personal or business fighting Herring. “I was never really close with Jamel.

“I tell that to Jamel, and I tell that to anyone else. I was never close to him. Why would it be personal if it wasn’t close?

“It’s got to be business. That doesn’t mean it’s personal. It means we’re going to war.

“I’m going to war with him. I’m a warrior. If you’re with me, you’re with me. If you’re with him, you’re with him. But we’re handling business on Saturday, and I’m going in there to do what I got to do.

“I don’t take it personally because I’ve seen Shakur say worse to others,” said Herring. “Remember, we were there altogether when he fought Joet, and I had a fight, Lamont Roach.

“Well damn, I know he can be ruthless when he wants to be ruthless,” said Herring.

“I know he can be disrespectful when he wants to be disrespectful. I just look like it’s selling the fight. He’s just hungry. That’s how I look at it,” said Herring.

The 2016 Olympic silver medalist Stevenson earned his WBO mandatory position with a recent 12 round unanimous decision last June in a title eliminator against Jeremia Nakathilia.

Stevenson admits that he didn’t perform at his best in that contest, as he didn’t like getting hit by the powerful Nakathilia, so he focused on boxing and staying out of his power alley.

The former WBO featherweight champion Stevenson briefly held that title after beating Joet Gonzalez to win the vacant strap. Interestingly, Stevenson chose not to defend the belt, and he immediately moved up to 130 to go after the WBO belt.