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Herring vs Stevenson Jr.

Opening Presser!

(September 9th) WBO junior lightweight world champion Jamel "Semper Fi" Herring and undefeated former featherweight world champion Shakur Stevenson have trained together and share many of the same friends. Sometimes friends make the best enemies.

 

Herring will defend his world title against Stevenson on Saturday, Oct. 23 (ESPN & ESPN Deportes, 10:30 p.m. ET) at the award-winning State Farm Arena in Atlanta. One of the year's most anticipated fight cards will also include the return of middleweight prospect Nico Ali Walsh, grandson of "The Greatest," who turned pro in August with a first-round knockout.

 

The undercard — streaming live and exclusively on ESPN+ — will see the return of Olympian Troy Isley (2-0, 1 KO) in a six-rounder at middleweight, Georgia native Haven Brady Jr. (3-0, 3 KOs) in a four-round featherweight tilt, and the A-Town debut of junior middleweight prospect Evan “Yung Holy” Holyfield (7-0, 5 KOs), an Atlanta native and the son of heavyweight legend Evander Holyfield.

 

Tickets are on sale and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com.

 

At Thursday's kickoff press conference, this is what Top Rank chairman Bob Arum and the fighters had to say.

 

Bob Arum

"We have the champion, Jamel Herring, who is a real tough, tough guy. You don't serve two tours of duty as a Marine in Iraq unless you're a tough guy. The knock on Jamel had been he didn't have much punching power. But he showed that he did when he recently stopped the great {Carl} Frampton. I know that he is poised and ready for this fight, and you'll see 'The Fighting Marine' in action. Now, it's no easy task for him because he faces the young man that many of us in boxing have been touting for years as being the new face of boxing, the new star in boxing, the guy who will beat everybody on his way to superstar glory. And so far, Shakur Stevenson has demonstrated that ability. He knows this is a tough fight, but he always comes prepared. I guarantee you all that you will be seeing a tremendous, competitive main event on Oct. 23."

 

Jamel Herring

"I look at every fight different. This fight is no easier than any fight I've had in the past. I always gave Shakur his respect. I know what I'm going up against, but that's what motivates me to go in the gym and do what I have to do. I don't take anyone lightly. It's familiar territory and another day in the life of Jamel Herring. That's just how it is."

 

"They're making Shakur out to be the future superstar, but again, maybe he will be a future star in his own right, but right now, we're focusing on the now. I still feel like I have things to prove to myself, and I'm just going to go out and do what I have to do."

 

"Lately, Atlanta has been growing as another city for boxing. It's great to just not be in a 'bubble.' It's great to actually have fans in attendance for a change. The fans do play a huge part, especially in these big fights. Sometimes you need that crowd to push you and get you riled up. I believe Atlanta will have that great atmosphere that both of us will feed upon on Oct. 23."

 

"We both have something to prove in our own rights. He's young, and he wants to be a two-division champion, which I respect. I feel like I've always been counted out. I'm still just fighting for my respect. That's what keeps me motivated and hungry. I think this fight will bring out the best in both of us."

 

Shakur Stevenson

"It's an amazing opportunity to be back here fighting for another world title. My last world title, I fought in October (2019 against Joet Gonzalez). This world title, I fight in October. It's going to be no different. I'm coming here to dominate. Jamel is a solid fighter. He has a great team around him, but it's going to be my night. That's how I feel."

 

"{Jamel} is a just a friend of my family. He's not my friend. He's not nobody I talk to outside of boxing. We don't got no relationship outside of boxing. He's somebody I see around. He messes with the same people I mess with. Other than that, we're not friends. I've never really been his friend. He's cool people. I don't got no problem with him at all. It ain't like I check up on him when I'm not fighting or he checks up on me. I don't consider that a friend.

 

"At the end of the day, I'm coming in there to handle business, and I'm going to make sure I win."

 

Nico Ali Walsh

"First of all, it's an honor to be sitting here with Shakur Stevenson and Jamel Herring. It's an honor to be a part of this card, and I think it's very important for me to be in Atlanta because of the history, obviously, with my grandfather. And my aunt {Laila Ali} fought here as well. It's just a really exciting time in my life, and I'm really excited for this journey."

 

"Everyone I talked to, whether it be Mike Tyson or Tyson Fury or any other professional fighter that I look up to, has said that the first fight is always the hardest because you don't know what to expect. I'm blessed now that I've gotten the first fight over with, and now I'm just looking forward to having fun and enjoying the rest of my boxing career."

 

About State Farm Arena

Home to the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club, the award-winning State Farm Arena opened its doors in October 2018 following the 2nd largest renovation in NBA history. Inspired by the fans, State Farm Arena is a next-generation venue focused on experience, service and entertainment. With the NBA’s third-largest center-hung scoreboard and an immersive video experience, fan-friendly food pricing and premium restaurant options, Topgolf Swing Suites and celebrity-inspired spaces accessible to every fan, the downtown Atlanta arena stakes its claim as the city’s best sports and live entertainment venue. Named Pollstar’s 2020 Best New Concert Venue, State Farm Arena consistently ranks among the top 10 concert and event venues in the world by and hosts nearly 200 events and nearly 2 million guests annually.

 

About Top Rank

Innovation has been the standard at Top Rank since it was established in 1966 by Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. The boxing industry’s leading promotional company, Top Rank has shaped, developed, and promoted the careers of top international pay-per-view superstars and Hall of Famers, including Muhammad Ali, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Tommy Hearns, George Foreman, Sugar Ray Leonard, Aaron Pryor, Alexis Arguello, Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Miguel Cotto, Erik Morales, Terence Crawford, and Vasiliy Lomachenko.

 

Top Rank has promoted some of the most memorable fights in the sport’s history, including 26 Ali events, Leonard vs. Hearns, Pryor vs. Arguello, Duran vs. Leonard, Hagler vs. Hearns, Leonard vs. Hagler, Foreman vs. Holyfield, Morales vs. Barrera, De La Hoya vs. Trinidad, and the most lucrative fight in boxing history, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. In addition to the previously mentioned super fights, Top Rank possesses one of the largest sports libraries, which includes nearly 10,000 fights.

 

Known for creating strategic collaborations between athletes, sponsors, and television networks, Top Rank has been an architect of boxing’s global growth by staging high-profile events in landmark settings around the world, including Madison Square Garden, MGM Grand Garden Arena, Staples Center, Wembley Arena, Araneta Coliseum, The Venetian Macao, Yankee Stadium, Radio City Music Hall, The “Fabulous” Forum, and AT&T Stadium. Top Rank has also been the leader within the boxing industry in creating unforgettable in-arena experiences for fans and embracing 21st century technological advancements to distribute world-class fights and shoulder programming across a variety of platforms.

 

About ESPN+

ESPN+ is the multi-sport, direct-to-consumer video service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International (DTCI) segment and ESPN. It reached 2 million subscribers in less than a year and offers fans thousands of live events, on-demand content and original programming not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks, along with premium editorial content.

 

Programming on ESPN+ includes hundreds of MLB and NHL games, exclusive UFC, Top Rank boxing and PFL fights and events, top domestic and international soccer (Serie A, MLS, FA Cup, UEFA Nations League, EFL Championship, EFL Carabao Cup, Eredivisie, and more), thousands of college sports events (including football, basketball and other sports), Grand Slam tennis, international and domestic rugby and cricket, new and exclusive series, acclaimed studio shows and the full library of ESPN’s award-winning 30 for 30 films. Fans subscribe to ESPN+ for just $4.99 a month (or $49.99 per year) and can cancel at any time.

 

ESPN+ is available as an integrated part of the ESPN App (on mobile and connected devices) and ESPN.com.

Jamel Herring vs Shakur Stevenson Jr. Lightweight Title Clash Set for October 23rd

Atlanta’s State Farm Arena and LIVE On ESPN!

(August 31st) Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring and Shakur Stevenson have exchanged verbal volleys in person and on social media. They’ll settle the score in the Throwdown in A-Town.

 

Herring will defend his WBO junior lightweight world title against former featherweight world champion Stevenson on Saturday, Oct. 23 at the award-winning State Farm Arena in Atlanta in an event promoted by Top Rank.

 

Nico Ali Walsh (1-0, 1 KO), grandson of “The Greatest,” Muhammad Ali, looks to make it 2 for 2 against an opponent to be named in a four-round middleweight special attraction.

 

Herring-Stevenson, Ali Walsh’s bout, and a co-feature will air Live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes (simulcast on ESPN+) at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT.

 

The undercard — streaming live and exclusively on ESPN+ — will see the professional comeback of U.S. Olympic silver medalist Duke Ragan (4-0, 1 KO) in a six-round featherweight bout, Ragan’s Olympic teammate Troy Isley (2-0, 1 KO) in a six-rounder at middleweight, Georgia native Haven Brady Jr. (3-0, 3 KOs) in a four-round featherweight tilt, and the A-Town debut of junior middleweight prospect Evan “Yung Holy” Holyfield (7-0, 5 KOs), an Atlanta native and the son of heavyweight legend Evander Holyfield.

 

“We are thrilled to be back in Atlanta with a spectacular card headlined by a junior lightweight championship grudge match between a veteran champion and one of the sport’s supreme young talents,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “And with names like Ali Walsh, Ragan and Isley on the undercard, Atlanta’s great fight fans will see many of the sport's most promising up-and-comers.”

 

Herring (23-2, 11 KOs), a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who captained the 2012 U.S. Olympic boxing team, has made three defenses of the world title he won via decision over Masayuki Ito in May 2019. After a challenging 2020 campaign that included a bout with COVID-19 and a disqualification victory over Jonathan Oquendo, Herring punched his passport in April and knocked out former two-weight world champion Carl Frampton in Dubai. He now steps up against pound-for-pound talent and 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist Stevenson (16-0, 8 KOs), a former WBO featherweight world champion who vacated the title last year to move up to junior lightweight. Stevenson is 3-0 at junior lightweight, most recently picking up the interim WBO junior lightweight world title in June with a shutout decision over Namibia’s Jeremiah Nakathila. Stevenson has lost only a handful of rounds since turning pro in April 2017, a dominant run that’s included victories over the likes of Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz and Joet Gonzalez.

 

“2021 has been good to me so far. I started the year with a big fight and a major win over Frampton,” Herring said. “I look forward to finishing out the year the same way I started it, not only with another huge victory, but as a world champion. I have nothing else to say. I’m focused on October 23 and the fourth title defense of my WBO belt.”

 

Stevenson said, “Jamel had to fight me, or he would’ve been stripped of his world title. I boxed him into a corner, and I am going to take his world title in devastating fashion on October 23. I can’t wait to fight in front of the amazing fans in Atlanta. Trust me, you are going to see a show, and I will become a two-weight world champion.”

 

Ali Walsh’s Aug. 14 professional debut drew international media attention, and he knocked out Jordan Weeks in the opening round while wearing a pair of his grandfather’s old trunks. He’ll make his ring return in a city that hosted two of Muhammad Ali’s most memorable moments. State Farm Arena sits less than two miles from the Atlanta Olympic Cauldron Tower, where Ali lit the Olympic flame at the 1996 Summer Olympics. In October 1970, Ali fought Jerry Quarry at City Auditorium, his first fight in more than three years after being banned from the ring for refusing induction into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. Ali Walsh’s second pro fight will come three days shy of the 51st anniversary of the Quarry fight, which Ali won by third-round knockout.

 

Ali Walsh said, “Atlanta welcomed my grandfather with open arms, and I am honored to fight there on a major world championship card. When Top Rank said I’d be fighting in Atlanta, I thought of my grandfather lighting the Olympic torch and his bout against Jerry Quarry. This will be a special evening for my entire family. The legend lives on.”

Jamel Herring and Shakur Stevenson

Set For October 23rd In Atlanta!

(August 13th) the meeting between WBO Jr. Lightweight World Champion Jamel "Semper Fi" Herring and  WBO Interim 130-pound strap holder Shakur “Fearless” Stevenson is a no brainer and the highly anticipated bout is finally confirmed.

 

The talented southpaws, Herring and Stevenson signed their contracts for their 130-pound title fight and the bout to reportedly take place at State Farm Arena in Atlanta on October 23rd.

The Alexandria, Virginia 24-year-old, 2016 Olympic Silver Medalist, Stevenson, 16-0, 8Ko’s enters off a twelve round unanimous decision World Boxing Organization Interim World Super Featherweight Title claiming points win over Jeremia Nakathila in June said "If I had the choice, I'll take Oscar Valdez, but if I got to beat up Jamel to get to it, I'll do that, too, Jamel can't beat me."

The 35-year-old, Cincinnati, Ohio, resident Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring, 23-2, 11Ko’s is coming in off a World Boxing Organization World Super Featherweight Title retaining sixth round TKO of Belfast, Northern Ireland, former IBF & WBA Super Bantamweight Champion and WBA Featherweight Champion Carl “The Jackal” Frampton” last April responded "I know that everyone wants that fight next, of course, but I'm not coming like Frankenstein with heavy feet in the ring."

 

Ticket and full card information to follow soon.

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