On Tuesday, August 22, 2017, former world champion Juan Carlos Payano (18-1, 9 KOs) faces Alexis Santiago (21-4-1, 8 KOs) in a 10-round Bantamweight matchup that headlines Premier Boxing Champions Toe-to-Toe Tuesday on FS1 and Boxeo de Campeones on Fox Deportes from Sam’s Town Live in Las Vegas, and it’s presented by Mayweather Promotions.
The evening’s co-main event pits a pair of once-beaten Lightweights against one another, as Jamel Herring (16-1, 9 KOs) faces Ladarius Miller (13-1, 4 KOs) in a 10-round match.
Herring fights out of Cincinnati and is originally from Coram, New York. The 31 year old won his first 15 pro fights including triumphs over Luis Eduardo Florez, Yakubu Amidu and Hector Velasquez.
A former member of the U.S. Marine Corps, Herring bounced back from his first defeat and stopped experienced contender Art Hovhannisyan in February. The southpaw took a moment to answer a few questions ahead of his bout with Miller.
Round By Round Boxing: What’s your excitement level in, or do you feel like, your fight Tuesday is an AFC/NFC Championship game, or Western/Eastern Conference Final, to Saturday’s Super Bowl of combat sports in Mayweather vs. McGregor?
Jamel Herring: I mean in a way I do, I feel like my fight basically kicks off the whole week for the big event to come, but more importantly, on my end, I’m just ready to get in there and do what I got to do. You know what I’m saying, I’m focused on getting that W.
RBRBoxing: Ladarius Miller, that’s not who you were scheduled to fight the last time we talked, is it?
JH: No, I was originally scheduled to fight Jose Pedraza at one point, and then Alejandro Luna and then that didn’t go through. So now I’m going in here against Ladarius “Memphis” Miller.
RBRBoxing: Now you recently got in some work with Terence “Bud” Crawford in camp, what’s the special part of his game that is going to give Julius Indongo the most problems tonight [This interview was conducted Saturday, August 19)?
JH: His ability to adapt, he’s never fighting one-dimensional, you know, he can always adapt to whatever’s in front of him – which is amazing. Like there’s days he’ll start off a little bit off, and he’ll finish really strong. I’ve seen him do like 15 rounds of sparring when we were in there. Like I said, he’s just a smart boxer overall, and I believe he’ll be able to adapt and overcome whatever Indongo throws at him tonight.
RBRBoxing: In that same camp, there was also Adrien Broner, and we’re a few weeks past his disappointing loss to Mikey Garcia, by a wider margin many expected. I don’t how much you’ve spoken to him since then, but Broner’s gone on a social media campaign to remind fans that several greats had as many as 5 or more losses. Do you think what’s lost on Adrien is that it’s not that he’s losing fights, but it’s how he’s losing fights? Furthermore, he addressed going through a focused training camp, is it now that adjustments need to be made in the ring?
JH: I think that’s it for starters, but to begin with, he gets more heat based on his personality. I was there with him in camp, he actually trained really hard for the fight, it’s just that Mikey Garcia had the better game plan, and he was just the better man that night. You know Adrien just didn’t seem like Adrien that night.
Coach Mike Stafford was yelling a lot of things in the corner and in between rounds, but Adrien couldn’t execute them at the time. But, he’s still young, changes do need to be made and he’s young so there’s still time to make them. You know though, the only one that can really do that is Adrien, and we’ll just have to see what he does from there.
RBRBoxing: Do you see any major similarities between yourself and Ladarius “Memphis” Miller?
JH: Um, people say we look alike, that’s about it. [Laughs]
RBRBoxing: Okay, so I wasn’t alone in that thought. Not just looks, but physically you guys look similar, you’re obviously in the same weight class and all – you’re both southpaws. What has coach Mike Stafford prepared you for in facing Ladarius Miller?
JH: I’ve just got to go out there and do my game plan, you know, follow and listen to my corner for starters. I know this fight is at 135, and he hasn’t fought under at least 137, I believe. His last fight was his first fight at 8 rounds, this fight is at 10 rounds, you know what I mean.
It’s a whole different ball game! You know, I’ve been 10 rounds a few times, as you know already. I’ve been the rounds, I believe my work rate is a lot better.
At times he fights in spurts, but people who’ve seen me fight before know I can go from the first round to ten, and fight at the same pace I started out with, so that’s really what I’m looking at in terms of everything overall.
RBRBoxing: Do you believe there are any stamina or endurance issues with Miller, I watched a couple fights and noticed him breathing through his mouth as early as the second round?
JH: Um, yeah, crazy thing is, you’re a smart dude man, me and you both watched the same thing, we study the game of boxing. Let’s be real, I heard it from even people on his own side, to be honest with you, in his own area. They said it, about the whole stamina issue and things like that – even though I already seen it. But, this actually came from people that actually worked with him at one point, which is crazy.
Like I said, I see the stamina issue, you never know man, for him this is his biggest fight, so you never know what he might bring to the table this time around. He may have made some changes in his camp, you never know. Like you said, in the past I have seen those types of things, and that’s why I said earlier that he fights in spurts at times, because of stamina. But, I can’t focus on what he’s going to do, I can only prepare myself, and get myself ready.
RBRBoxing: I saw his only loss was to Rolando Chinea who recently came back to upset Kenneth Sims Jr, and he’s a real believer in “pressure, pressure, pressure.” You’re not a full-on pressure guy, so what weakness of Miller will you look to exploit? I noticed he doesn’t necessarily use his jab a lot as an offensive weapon, what have you and coach Stafford planned to exploit?
JH: That’s the thing, we plan to use it all – you know, applying some pressure. I know my last fight that wasn’t shown, it was untelevised, I had to apply pressure. When I see my man breaking down in those first couple rounds, then that’s when I apply the pressure.
I usually start out boxing, but when I see you slowing down, and I see there’s an opening, I’m going to apply the pressure to force your will. You know, I saw the fight with Kenny, I was upset but I gave dude his respect. Then I seen how he was able to beat Ladarius, because dude wasn’t the greatest technician, but his work rate is basically what saved him.
Because he had no power either, he has no power to really hurt you, but he gets in your face the whole time. I’m not saying I need to do that, but I know I have power, and I know I can apply pressure and I know that I’m a better technician.
I feel like a lot of things favor me in this fight, for sure.
RBRBoxing: Like you just mentioned, there have been several fights and venue changes for you, that has kept you in camp an extended period of time, so is there any concern on your part regarding possibly over training? If not, what has the team done to “manage your minutes”, so to speak?
JH: I know, for starters, when this fight was announced at the end, at the last minute, I know Al Haymon basically pulled me out of training for a while and made me go home just to relax for that reason. He personally told me just take a couple of weeks off, or so, to just relax a bit so I wouldn’t over train. He really wants me to be prepared for this fight, he really wants me to win this fight.
So, I took some time off, and I really didn’t come back to Colorado Springs until Bud and his team called, and requested that I come out to help them get prepared for their fight. So I basically started off camp again when he got started, and now I’m just fining tuning some things.
That was mainly it, you know, Al Haymon pulled me out of camp to relax, and then once Terence Crawford made the call that’s when I went back out to Colorado Springs. You know I worked with him, I also worked with Shakur Stevenson while I was out there, and I also worked with the USA Boxing team as well, you know.
So, I’ve been getting some great work from all over, this past month or so. I feel ready and I’m just excited to get back in the ring.
RBRBoxing: How does a good performance or a convincing win over Ladarius Miller propel Jamel Herring forward in the lightweight division?
JH: I basically, a solid win here, it kind of diminishes the memory of last summer when I lost to Shafikov. This puts me back where I left off at, you know, I’m trying to get in those sanctioning body spots where I can be eligible to compete for a title.
You know, that’s the goal really, you know what I mean, as you know me, I was open to take the challenges, I take the challenge for myself. Ladarius wasn’t the goal, but he was the only one that was available. I just got to go out there and put on a good show.
RBRBoxing: You’re out in Vegas, I know you’ve got business to take care of, but will you venture out into the city to get the vibe of the fans? Will you check the pulse of either the Mayweather or the McGregor camps?
JH: I’ve got to go out for a meet and greet, I’ve got to get out there and communicate with people here, but for the most part I’m out here to handle my business – everything else can wait. If I happen to see some people, I will stop and speak to see what’s going on, but like I said, my goal right now, and mindset, is to focus on this win.
RBRBoxing: Last question. Some guys down there near your weight class announced their retirements this week, in Shane Mosley and Timothy Bradly. Any thoughts or memories of how those guys, or their careers, influenced you in any way?
JH: It’s crazy, yesterday on the plane I was watching Shane Mosley versus Oscar de la Hoya, the first fight. That fight made me a real fan of boxing, watching that fight. I think Marquez was another one that retired – another one of my favorite fighters.
I spoke to Timothy Bradley before I even turned pro, and he gave me advice on what to look out for in terms of the business side of things. So, you know, those guys all had an effect on my life and my career, and I just wish them the best of luck.
Klitschko was another one that I admired over the years, and even after this weekend, basically, Floyd might be another one potentially that could be out of the door for good.
You know basically, I’m just happy to witness those guys in great fights and things of that nature, and now it’s just time for a new breed of fighters to take the mantle and do great things for the sport.
Header photo by Lucas Noonan/Premier Boxing Champions
Article photos by Stephanie Trapp/Showtime