IT would have been a bad look if Jamel Herring, a marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq, wound up losing on Veterans Day weekend, the hallowed American holiday honouring its retired military personnel. The WBO super-featherweight title-holder briefly flirted with that possibility in the 11th round of his first title defence against Lamont Roach Jnr at Chukchansi Park.
With several seconds left in the round, Roach uncorked an overhand right that sent Herring into a spasm and crashing into the ropes as Roach whaled away with power punches. It was the best shot of the night in what was otherwise a tactical fight that Herring had hitherto largely controlled. Herring, however, would quickly recover, and safely box his way through the 12th en route to notching a unanimous decision win. Crisis averted.
Scores were 115-113 (Max DeLuca) and 117-111 twice (Rey Danseco, Gary Ritter), all for the 34-year-old native of Coram, New York. This was Herring’s first defence of the belt since wresting it from Japan’s Masayuki Ito in May.