Jamel Herring is just biding his time.
The WBO junior lightweight titleholder has been reported to be in serious negotiations to face fellow Top Rank stablemate and former 126-pound titleholder Shakur Stevenson later on this year.
The all-southpaw clash would pit two of the purest boxers in the junior lightweight division.
Herring, 35, seems to think the fight will take place by mid-November.
“I was supposed to have an answer two weeks ago,” Herring told Michael Woods. “Hopefully we’ll get more concrete news this week. That’s why I’ve been so quiet on things. I can’t really say what’s going on at this point. They wanted to make it happen in October but due to everything getting pushed back it may happen by the second week of November, but I really haven’t heard much other than that.”
What got “pushed back,” of course, was the third fight between heavyweights Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, after Fury tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this month. Top Rank, who promotes Herring, is the promoter of Fury. That fight has been rescheduled for Oct. 9, which, just as in the second rematch, is expected to be produced as a joint pay-per-view between ESPN and Fox.
Meanwhile, Herring (23-2, 11 KOs) is more than ready to defend his WBO 130-pound title against the 24-year-old Stevenson – as an underdog, no less. Herring was a slight underdog going into his last fight against Carl Frampton, whom he stopped inside six rounds.
“I know I’ll pretty much be the underdog but that’s what motivates me and takes pressure off of my shoulders,” Herring said. “Plus at this point, it’s a familiar role I’m accustomed to, even as the champion. I just want the win, they can speak all they want, I just want the win.”
With all the talent at 130 pounds, including titleholder and stablemate Oscar Valdez (29-0, 23 KOs), Herring is thinking about making a stand at the weight class a bit longer.
“I was expected to move up after my last outing, but there’s so many good challenges at junior lightweight, and I want to be a part of those big fights,” said Herring. “I’m still fighting for credibility, though some would even say out of all the current champions in the division, I have the strongest resume. But I’d rather be underrated than overrated any day, and I’m at peace with the way things have turned out for my career, because I earned everything given to me.”