Former WBO 126-lb champion Shakur Stevenson (17-0, 9 KOs) made easy work of WBO super featherweight champion Jamel ‘Semper Fi’ Herring (23-3, 11 KOs) in knocking him out in the tenth round at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
Stevenson, 24, was pounding the bloody & battered Herring in the 10th round when the referee Mark Nelson decided he’d seen enough and he waived it off.
Herring wasn’t putting up a fight, and it made sense for the contest to be halted when Stevenson opened up with a barrage of stinging shots in the 10th.
What was supposed to be a competitive fight quickly turned into a rout after the first three rounds when it was clear that Herring had no chance against the faster, more accurate, and far more talented Stevenson.
Interestingly, Herring spent much of the fight on the outside being picked off by Stevenson’s sharp punches. Herring had no chance of winning on the outside, but he was slow in making adjustments.
It appeared that Herring came to the fight with one game plan, and he wasn’t about to make adjustments to get back in the fight.
In the 10th round, Herring was cut and taking nonstop shots from Stevenson at the time the referee stepped in and halted the fight.
Perhaps if Herring wasn’t bleeding and if he was fighting back, it wouldn’t have likely been halted. Herring looked out of it, and in need of being saved by the referee Mark Nelson.
“I smelled blood,” said Stevenson after the fight. “I saw he was bleeding and was like, ‘OK, I have to attack the cut. I was trying to touch the cut to make the doctor try and stop it.”
With the win, Stevenson picks up the WBO 130-lb title, making him a two-division world champion. He said he wants to face WBC super featherweight champion Oscar Valdez in a unification fight next.
Valdez (29-0, 22 KOs) is undefeated and also promoted by Top Rank, the same promoters that guide Stevenson’s career.
“There’s only one fight left at the end of the day. It’s the biggest fight at the end of the day,” said Stevenson. “Oscar [Valdez] can’t keep ducking. It’s time for him to fight. There’s nothing else to look forward to. The 130-pound division needs to unify. Let’s get it!”
The person that Shakur needs to talk to if he wants a unification fight against Oscar Valdez is their mutual promoter Bob Arum. If Arum wants to make that fight happen, he’ll do it.
It’s likely that Arum WON’T set that fight up because Valdez is an excellent money-maker for Top Rank, and if he lets Stevenson fight him, he could beat him and wreck his money-making ability.
“I want to be a superstar in the sport. I’m here to last. I take my craft very seriously. I’m disciplined,” said Shakur.
Well, if Stevenson wants to be a superstar, he needs to fight these guys:
1. Vasily Lomachenko
2. Teofimo Lopez
3. Devin Haney
4. Ryan Garcia
5. Emanuel Navarrete
6. Gary Russell Jr.
7. Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis