2016 Olympic silver medalist Shakur Stevenson (16-0, 8 KOs) faces the biggest test of his pro career on Saturday when he takes on WBO super featherweight champion Jamel Herring (23-2, 11 KOs) at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta. Stevenson has already held the WBO belt at featherweight and is the interim champion, but as the belt was vacant when he took it Herring will be his first taste of real top ten opposition.
Herring won the belt against Masayuki Ito in 2019 and has defended it three times, most recently by knocking out and retiring former two-division champion Carl Frampton. Both fighters are southpaw boxers who prefer to stick to the outside and use the straight left as their main weapon. Stevenson has shown great potential since turning pro and has not encountered much trouble in the ring on the way to this fight but he’s also been content to just ride out decisions over outclassed opposition at times. Herring should hopefully push him to fight up to his potential. Stevenson’s speed should give him the advantage in a boxing match but though the outside is Herring’s preference as well he’s shown more dispositions to inside fighting and has a bit of size advantage that could be exploited.
While I wouldn’t expect the fight to be quite as easy as his -900 odds suggest, Stevenson is a potential future star and should be able to handle the veteran.
There aren’t any other major fights on the card, but some prospects are in action in 60rounders. 19-year-old super welterweight Xander Zayas (10-0, 7 KOs) is very early in his career but has looked promising with an aggressive and powerful style so far. Still at 154, Evander Holyfield’s son Evan (7-0, 5 KOs) looks like there could be more to him than a famous name but is still fighting poor competition at this stage. Rounding up the notable prospects on the undercard is middleweight Tokyo Olympian Troy Isley (2-0, 1 KO).
Jamel Herring vs Shakur Stevenson airs on ESPN on Saturday, October 23rd at 10:30pm ET / 7:30pm PT with the prelims airing on ESPN+ at 7:25pm ET / 4:25pm PT.
About the author