Jamel Herring vs. Shakur Stevenson predictions: Fight card, odds, start time, how to watch, preview The WBO junior lightweight title is on the line in Atlanta on Saturday night in a bit of a crossroads matchup
Jamel Herring will defend his WBO featherweight title against Shakur Stevenson at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta this weekend. The world title clash has all the makings of a classic, with unbeaten Stevenson, 24, one of boxing’s brightest talents. Aussie fans can stream the big fight live on Fite tv for only $9.99. In the UK, it’s on Sky. Make sure you know how to watch a cheap Jamel Herring vs Shakur Stevenson live stream from anywhere in the world.
It may have fallen a bit under the radar this weekend but nonetheless, the top two fighters in a talented 130-pound division will face off on Saturday in Atlanta with the WBO junior lightweight title at stake.
Fresh off a thrilling knockout of two-division champion Carl Frampton, Jamel Herring (23-2, 11 KOs) will look for the fourth defense of his WBO title when he welcomes rising star and former featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson (16-0, 8 KOs) inside State Farm Arena (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).
The main storyline entering the fight has been the pausing (or dissolution, depending upon your vantage point) of a growing friendship between them thanks to their overall boxing circles.
The 24-year-old Stevenson, a silver medalist at the 2016 Olympics, has developed a tight bond and mentor/mentee relationship with unbeaten welterweight champion Terence Crawford. Herring, 35, has been trained in recent years by Crawford’s co-head coach Brian “BoMac” McIntyre, which means the pair of junior lightweights have congregated in the same extended friend group for some time despite knowing this day could become possible once Stevenson chose to move up in weight.
Neither are known as big trash talkers and both have been respectful yet direct toward one another in the fight’s build, which included a giggle-heavy face off between them at Thursday’s final press conference. Yet, if you listen close enough, there has been an underlying level of tension threatening to boil over given the stakes.
“It’s definitely not personal and it’s all business at the end of the day,” Stevenson said. “I don’t care for him like, he’s not my friend. I don’t talk to Jamel Herring outside of boxing.”
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Herring, who served two tours of duty in Iraq as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps, agreed.
“It’s nothing personal and it’s just business,” Herring said. “We are building a fight, that’s all it is to me. I’ve heard worse and I have been through worse. We are just two top competitors in the division trying to prove who is the best.
“It just feels like another high, elite level fight in a loaded and talented division. For me, we just take it one fight at a time and put all of our personal feelings aside. We do what we have to do.”
Despite Stevenson’s decorated success through 16 fights as a pro, he enters his shot at becoming a two-division champion in need of a breakthrough performance. If boxing has long been an unforgiving sport in which each fighter is only deemed as good as their most recent performance, Stevenson endured plenty of criticism for his June decision win over hard-hitting Jeremiah Nakathila.
Although Stevenson went on to score identical 120-107 scorecards across the board in a shutout performance that featured a knockdown in Round 4, the performance was anything but inspiring or exciting. The proud native of Newark, New Jersey, disagreed, however, when asked if he needs to knock out Herring in order to win back praise from his critics.
“Definitely not. At the end of the day, this is an elite and championship level fight,” Stevenson said. “You can’t judge me off of one fight when I have performed time and time [again]. I can’t say I am going in there looking for a knockout but if he makes a mistake, I’m going to capitalize.”
Herring knows a thing or two himself about what one night can do for a fighter’s reputation. His 2020 title defense against Jonathan Oquendo, which Herring won by disqualification for repeated head butts, was marred by criticism that Herring milked the effects of the fouls and essentially asked out of the fight knowing he would get the victory.
Yet with his credentials suddenly in question, Herring responded in as large of a way as possible this April when he traveled to Dubai and not only finished a future Hall of Famer in Frampton, he sent him into retirement following a thrilling sixth-round TKO.
It’s part of the reason why Herring isn’t bothered by hearing how oddsmakers have made the defending champion as high as an 6-1 underdog against Stevenson.
“It just plays into my story,” Herring said. “I have always been the underdog, not just in boxing but in life. I don’t really get into the whole oddsmaker thing, I’m not a gamble anyway. It doesn’t bother me at all.”
The undercard is filled out with some intriguing prospects on the rise. Xander Zayas is back in a six-rounder against Dan Karpency as the 19-year-old continues his development on a fairly large stage. Plus, Nico Ali Walsh, the grandson of Muhammad Ali, is back and looking for his second win in as many appearances when he faces James Westley in a four-rounder at middleweight. Walsh made waves in August with a TKO victory in his pro debut on the Joshua Franco vs. Andrew Moloney undercard.
Fight card, odds
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook
Shakur Stevenson (16-0, 8 KOs) -900 vs. Jamel Herring (c) (23-2, 11 KOs) +600, WBO junior lightweight title
Xander Zayas (10-0, 7 KOs) -4000 vs. Dan Karpency (9-3-1, 4 KOs) +1500, junior middleweights (six rounds)
Nico Ali Walsh (1-0) vs. James Westley II (1-0), middleweights (four rounds)
A former amateur standout who represented the United States at the 2012 Olympics, Herring deserves nothing but credit for how he has been able to turn around his pro career in recent years after a pair of defeats took him from future contender to borderline journeyman status.
A gritty southpaw with a high boxing IQ, Herring has won seven straight and remains one of boxing’s best feel-good stories. But there’s a reason why the betting odds are where they are entering this fight and that’s because Stevenson has shown the kind of long-term potential of a future pound-for-pound great.
Unless Herring is successful at slowing Stevenson down by going to the body, this has all the makings to be a long night at the office. Stevenson’s speed and footwork are simply sublime, which means that even if he’s unable (or unwilling) to go for the knockout, the default fallback of boxing from the outside regardless of the entertainment value it creates remains an option for him.
Stevenson’s ability to hit without being hit can only be compared at this point to a young Floyd Mayweather. Expect that natural gap in speed to be more than enough to outpoint Herring.
Pick: Stevenson via UD12
Who wins Stevenson vs. Herring? And which prop is a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see Brandon Wise’s best bets for Saturday, all from the CBS combat sports specialist who has crushed his boxing picks in 2021, and find out.