Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring (21-2, 10 KOs) successfully defended his WBO Junior Lightweight world title against Lamont Roach Jr. (19-1-1, 7 KOs) with a unanimous decision victory on Saturday November 9, 2019 at Chukchansi Park, Fresno, California live on ESPN+ presented by Top Rank Boxing.
The judges scorecards read 115-113, and 117-111 twice in favor of Herring.
Herring set the tone with his ring entrance, coming to the squared circle on the back of a military Humvee. Behind Herring was his trainer holding a Marine Corps flag along with WBO Weltwerweight champion Terence Crawford.
His robe was laced with the Marine Corps logo on his back, trunks and gloves that had “Semper Fi” in gold.
Herring wanted to make it a special fight, not only because it was his first title defense, but because of the Marine Corps birthday being one day away on November 10. He did just that with his unanimous decision win.
Herring used his jab to fight at his pace, and his preferred range. He never let Roach Jr. in close to fight in the pocket.
Roach Jr. was consistently looking for power punches, primarily the left and right hooks to the head. He never used his jab, and this was the reason his offense wasn’t very successful.
Once again, Roach Jr. didn’t let his hands go enough. This is a problem that was thought to be fixed with new trainer Joel Diaz in his corner.
Roach Jr. made a strong push in the seventh and eight rounds landing his power punches and finding his range. His power advantage was evident, and he landed the better, flush power punches during those two rounds.
Roach Jr. landed a massive right hook at the end of the 11th round that left Herring wobbled on deer legs, but Roach Jr. couldn’t earn the knockdown or TKO as Herring was saved by the bell.
Herring, mainly boxing in survival mode, made it through the 12th round to take the fight to the scorecards.
Herring mentioned in his post-fight interview that unification is on his mind, including WBC Junior Lightweight champion Miguel Berchelt, WBA Junior Lightweight champion Andrew Cancio (21-4-2, 16 KOs), as well as a matchup with Carl Frampton (26-2, 15 KOs).