On Memorial Day weekend, Jamel Herring, who spent two tours of duty in Iraq as a member of the United States Marine Corps, is now a world champion.
In the main event of a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card from Kissimmee, Florida, Herring defeated Masayuki Ito to win the WBO super featherweight title. Herring won the belt by unanimous decision with scores of 116-112, 118-110 and 118-110.
Herring opened things up with some body work that was effective in the first round, but Ito quickly found a home for his right hand for the next few rounds as they kept landing on Herring. The first half of the fight was filled with a lot of clinching and Herring landing a lot of uppercuts to keep Ito at bay.
Ito turned up the intensity in his punches early in the second half of the fight, especially in the first 90 seconds of the eighth round when he landed numerous hooks and a straight right to Herring’s head. As the fight progressed, Ito would continue being aggressive and landing timely shots to his challenger. But the final three rounds did see Herring outbox a tired Ito, even sending Ito to the canvas in the 11th round, but it was not ruled a knockdown.
The loss snaps Ito’s 10-month reign as the world champion. Ito won the belt last summer against Christopher Diaz after Vasiliy Lomachenko vacated the belt. Ito only made one title defense, which was a seventh-round stoppage win against Evgeny Chuprakov last December in Ito’s native country of Japan.
This is Herring’s first world title win and his win streak now extends to four fights. Herring’s record improves to 20-2 and the new champion has not lost a fight since 2017.