The WBO ordered a purse bid for super featherweight champion Jamel Herring and mandatory challenger Shakur Stevenson for August 9th in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
It’s still unknown if their promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank will be able to avert the purse bid. If not, there could be a problem with the 67% split in favor of Stevenson, with 33% going to the WBO 130-lb champion Herring (23-2, 11 KOs).
It’s strange how Shakur, the interim WBO 130lb champion, would get the bigger percentage split over the WBO champion Herring. It seems upside with the way the World Boxing Organization has it configured.
But they are doing it this way based on the average of the last three purses for both guys. Stevenson, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist, has been getting good money from Top Rank and ESPN.
It obviously helps that Shakur fought in the Olympics for the United States, even though he was beaten in the final by the Cuban fighter Robeisy Ramirez.
Arum seemed confident that he could get a deal done between the two, but if not, we’ll have to see which direction Herring goes in. If he vacates his WBO title, it’ll be interesting to see whether he can get a bigger payday challenging WBC super featherweight champion Oscar Valdez.
That’s the fight that Herring wanted to take but couldn’t because the World Boxing Organization ordered him to defend against his mandatory Stevenson.
If Herring gives up the WBO belt, it’s a lose-lose situation for him, Top Rank, and Stevenson. But perhaps Stevenson won’t be too bothered. He wants to get his hands on the WBO strap.
It may not change his life all that much if Top Rank cannot find top guys to match against Stevenson. When he held the WBO 126-lb, he wasn’t fighting any of the top guys before giving up the belt.
Herring, 35, is coming off a big sixth round knockout win over former two-division world champion Carl Frampton last April in Dubai.
That was a huge victory for Herring, and he had hoped he could use the victory to get a bigger fight with WBC champion Oscar Valdez. Unfortunately, those hopes for Herring were dashed when the WBO ordered him to defend against Stevenson.
If Herring chooses to vacate his WBO title, he has a lot to be proud of. He won the title in May 2019, defeating Masayuki Ito by a 12 round unanimous decision. Herring then successfully defended his WBO belt three times, beating Lamont Roach, Jonathan Oquendo, and Frampton.
Recently, Herring had been contemplating moving up to 135 to join the red-hot lightweight division to take on fighters like Ryan Garcia, Teofimo Lopez, Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, Vasily Lomachenko, and Devin Haney.
Now that the WBO has ordered the purse bid with the ridiculous splits, this might be a good time for Herring to vacate and move up in pursuit of bigger and better things. Of course, if Top Rank can make it worthwhile for Herring to stay at 130 to defend against Stevenson, perhaps he can stay.
Shakur recently vacated his WBO 126-lb strap after capturing the title in October 2019 against Joet Gonzalez. Stevenson opted not to defend the belt, which was odd, but that’s what he wanted. It’s not as if he could get any of the important fights that he wanted.
In June of last year, Stevenson moved up to super featherweight and has quickly won three fights, beating Felix Caraballo, Toka Kahn Clary, and Jeremiah Nakathilia.
Last June, the win over Nakathilia, a less than thrilling 12 round unanimous decision, earned him the WBO interim super featherweight title and the mandatory spot to force a title shot.