by David P. Greisman
Jamel Herring had said before that he was learning from being in the same gym as Adrien Broner. But he also found lessons in Broner’s loss this past December to Marcos Maidana.
Herring, a 2012 Olympian, moved to 7-0 (4 KOs) this past Saturday with a split decision win over Antonio Sanchez. The 28-year-old from Coram, N.Y., spoke afterward with BoxingScene’s David Greisman and Nestor Gibbs of Tha Boxing Voice about that bout, Broner, and more.
Q: What did you think about your performance tonight?
A: “I thought I did enough to get the decision. I thought I did more in the judges’ eyes from that one judge that scored it [for Antonio Sanchez], but like I said, I still got the W. It’s all about improvement. It’s a lesson. Like I said, I got the win, but there’s more I can improve on, so back to the drawing board.”
Q: What do you think you can improve on?
A: “Like the first two rounds, I probably started a little too slow. I can probably start a little bit more faster and then just keep pressing the fight. When I had him, instead of pressing the fight, it was basically towards the end of the rounds, and by then it was too late. I probably could’ve gotten him out of there earlier, but it’s all a learning experience.”
Q: You’ve said before that you’re punching with your power better now thanks to your work with Mike Stafford. Do you think that showed tonight or not?
A: “I believe it showed, because you can see like the welts and he’s bleeding from areas on his face. But the guy was coming down from like ’45, welterweight, like welterweight. I’ve been fighting so far at lightweight as a pro. I actually asked for this fight because I wanted to step it up for a little bit more, test to see where I’m at.”
Q: What do you want next? When do you want to be back in the ring?
A: “Next month. Whatever. As soon as possible, you know. Usually with me, I don’t take a lot of time off from the ring. I’ll probably take a few days off, spend time with the family, and then I’m right back in the gym.”
Q: You’re in the gym with Adrien Broner and were there in San Antonio when he lost to Marcos Maidana. What has it been like with him? Have you spoken with him since the loss?
A: “You know, he took some time off. I haven’t seen him much. I’ve seen him maybe this past couple of weeks. But from what I’ve seen, he’s been in good spirits. He’s been OK. He has close friends coming around him, and he’s just looking to get back in the ring as soon as possible. He’s already back in the gym training. We all just wish the best for him.”
Q: As a prospect, are there lessons that you can take from his defeat?
A: “Yeah, there’s lessons you can take from wins, defeats, draws, from any experience from guys who’s been in there longer than you. I took something from that fight, and we’re just working with [trainer] Mike Stafford. He’s a master of the game, in my opinion. We just learn from everything that goes around.”
Q: What did you learn from Adrien Broner’s defeat?
A: “I believe he started off maybe a little too slow. He could’ve probably maybe boxed a little bit more, basically because the guy was coming straight at him. We felt that he could’ve just boxed the guy and given him a boxing lesson, but it’s all a learning experience. He knows that. He knows what he did. He knows what he can improve on, so we’ll see what [happens] next time.”
Q: You mentioned that you started off slow tonight. Did you feel that the split decision was justified?
A: “I felt that I did enough to win unanimously, but it’s part of the game. That actually motivated me with what to look out for the next couple rounds. No hard feelings. I don’t have nothing against the judges. Everybody has their opinion about what they see. They probably could’ve seen a whole different fight from what they were looking at. Now I know what I need to do in terms of what the judges are looking for out there. Like I said, two judges scored every round for me, and then one had me losing the whole fight. But it’s all a learning experience. I don’t hold grudges. It’s part of the game.”
Q: You’ve spoken a couple times about learning experiences. Are you still in the developmental stages of your career, or are you ready to take leaps instead of steps?
A: “Actually, this fight here I actually wanted to take a leap a little bit further, because the first guy they offered me, he had maybe about four fights. I didn’t feel like I needed that. I actually wanted to test myself and push myself. I still want to just keep continuing going up. I don’t want to be rushed, of course. But I still don’t want to be going back. Anything that helps.
“Whatever my management and the promoter sees is best for me, I’m going with, but like I said, I want to go forward. I don’t want to go backwards. That’s not going to help me out when it comes to the big fights. I don’t want to be that guy, ‘Oh, he doesn’t deserve where he’s at. He hasn’t fought anybody.’ I want to be that guy, ‘Oh, he’s fought this guy, he’s done this, and he’s improving.’ ”
Q: You were campaigning at 140 and have gone done to 135. Do you feel like it’s a conflict of interest as there’s also Robert Easter Jr. at 135 and Anthony Peterson, another friend of yours at 135. Is it going to start to get tough for you to get name fighters, because they’re all your friends?
A: “I’m not going to lie, that actually comes to mind at times. But for the most part, I leave it to the experts, Al Haymon, the Golden Boy crew. If I’ve got to adjust, ’35, ’40, somewhere in-between, wherever the fight’s at, I’m going. But right now, I don’t feel like I’m at that stage to worry about getting these fights, because I’m still growing. You guys know I’m still growing. But as time comes along, we’ll just see what happens from there.”
Q: And how are you feeling making that 135-pound limit now?
A: “I feel good! You know, they had the fight originally was supposed to be at 135. The guy couldn’t make the weight. It went from ’35, 137, then down to 138, but I was already good on weight. Everybody said, ‘Oh, Jamel, you can put on a few pounds. I didn’t feel that it was necessary. I want to keep getting my body used to making 135, because you never know when you might get that call to fight for a title at 135. I’m not going to play with my weight and get those extra two pounds, because those two pounds might make a difference.”
Pick up a copy of David’s new book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide. Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]