Jamel Herring’s next chapter will feature a few new faces in his corner.
The former 130-pound titlist from Coram, New York, said he will no longer be working with his longtime trainer Brian ‘BoMac’ McIntyre, best known as the head coach for WBO welterweight titlist Terence Crawford, but the decision was not mutual. According to Herring, McIntyre was the one who first indicated to him that working together was no longer a viable option and suggested to Herring that he should find another trainer.
The fallout, however cordial, is unusual in that most fighter-trainer divorces in boxing are instigated by the fighter, not the trainer. Clearly, that is not the case here for Herring and McIntyre.
The southpaw Herring, 36, won the WBO 130-pound title under McIntyre’s stewardship in 2019, a unanimous decision over Masayuki Ito at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida. He successfully defended it three times, with wins over Lamont Roach, Jonathan Oquendo-Arnaldi, and Carl Frampton. Herring eventually lost that title last October, in a 10th-round stoppage loss to Shakur Stevenson at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.
“I enjoyed my time with B&B, which we all know is ‘BoMac’, [assistant trainers] Red Spikes, Esau Dieguez,” Herring said on the Boxing With Chris Mannix podcast. “The crazy thing is BoMac felt that it was actually best for us to go our different ways. I had nothing to do but to respect that.
“I still have love for the team. Red Spikes and Esau are great individuals, great trainers. But it was more of an amicable thing between us, and I had to go basically find help elsewhere based on his decision.”
Herring, a U.S. marine and 2012 Olympian based in Cincinnati, said he will now work with veteran trainer Manny Robles, someone with whom he has a prior relationship, in Los Angeles, where Robles has a popular gym. Robles is best known for helping Andy Ruiz score an upset over Anthony Joshua in their heavyweight title match at Madison Square Garden in New York City in 2019.
“I looked over, left and right, and I felt that Manny Robles, who I knew for well over a decade and who actually helped me get to the Olympics,” Herring said. “I felt like at this point in time was maybe the best fit for me.”
Herring expects to return to the ring on a Top Rank card in May. He intends to move up to 135, a weight he has not fought at since 2017, when he lost to Ladarius Miller by unanimous decision.
Herring said he was taken aback by McIntyre’s decision. Herring cited a difference in “business” viewpoints as the reason why McIntyre let him go.
“It was basically more of a difference in opinion due to the business in the sport,” Herring said. “For the most part it was definitely a huge surprise, because I thought I would end my career with those individuals.”
Reached for comment, McIntyre confirmed that he had indeed dismissed Herring from his camp, but he said it was because he did not appreciate Herring withholding certain information from him. A few incidents led McIntyre to believe that there were significant “trust” issues at hand.
“It’s true,” McIntyre told BoxingScene.com. “I told him I didn’t wanna work with him no more. What's the word I’m looking for…Stuff was going behind my back that I didn’t approve of. First time I found out through the media and I kind of let it slide by what he did.
“But the second time, instead of being a man and come talk to me about it, I had to find out almost pretty much the same way. I was like, it’s best we go our own ways cuz obviously he don’t trust me or the team or something like that, man, for him to go about business that way.”
In 2020, Herring, who is managed by Jerry Casarez, signed an advisory deal with MTK Management, a global boxing firm founded by Daniel Kinahan, who some outlets have alleged is an organized crime figure.
Asked if Herring’ alliance with MTK was one example that led to the souring of their relationship, McIntyre acknowledged that it played a role. It is not clear if Herring is still under contract with MTK.
“That has something to do with it,” McIntyre said. “That was one of the things. That was kind of the straw that broke the camel’s back.
“I told him, you keeping quiet, I’m keeping quiet. I didn’t say nothing to the world, now the world knows.”
In his conversation with Mannix, Herring insisted there was no “animosity” between him, McIntyre, and the rest of McIntyre’s team.
“I respect their decision,” Herring said. “There’s no bad blood. ‘Bud’ [Crawford] as well did a great job in terms of getting me to the world title in my career, so I’ll always have love and respect for those guys. Sometimes that’s just how the business works.
“At the end of the day there’s no animosity. BoMac, I give him a lot of love and respect. He got me not only to the world title, but he helped me defend it on multiple occasions. I’m definitely gonna miss working out with Red and Esau because they played a huge part as well getting me to where I’m at.
"It’s definitely gonna feel funny, I can’t lie,” Herring added, in reference to preparing his next without McIntyre. “But I want to do what’s best and keep trucking and pushing forward.”
Regarding his upcoming fight, Herring (23-3, 11 KOs) did not indicate whom he would be facing. He revealed, however, that he was originally set to face either former titlist Richard Commey at 135 or Robson Conceicao at 130, but both options fell through for different reasons.