His fight didn't get the traction ahead of time or the buzz on fight night as did the one in LA, but still, even in a world off kilter, actions matter, character matters…and decency resonates.
That's why Jamel Herring (below, getting help with his ring walk in Fresno Saturday; picture by Mikey Williams for Top Rank) gets the nod from the NYF Squad in their every-Monday check in, after I ask, “Who won the weekend?”
Jamel Herring got my vote, for his conduct and character as much as his in ring acumen. Yep, maybe more attention was paid to the battling You Tubers. You may have even laid some money down https://toripelit.com/netticasino/extraspel/ on either KSI getting the nod, or Logan Paul having his hand raised. But while that spectacle drew buzz, Herring's win in the long run means more to the the planet.
What say you, Abe Gonzalez, in the Marines brotherhood with Herring?
“Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring won the weekend,” said Abe Gonzalez. “First, during fight week, he took the time to see Marines, visited some veterans at a local hospital and shared his story along with his struggle with PTSD. The latter is an extremely difficult thing to do especially when telling it to the world. Herring then honors the Marine Corps on the eve of its 244th Birthday, by having Marines walking him into the ring while riding in a Humv. In the ring, he boxed really well against a solid counter puncher and didn't allow Lamont Roach Jr. to land anything significant other than the temple shot in round eleven. Herring is a class act and we should shed some light on that as we live in a world where the negativity tends to get more of the headlines than anything else.”
“The loser won the extended weekend — Nonito Donaire,” said Gabe Oppenheim. “All along press row people were saying that if he somehow did not have hall of fame credentials prior to the Inoue fight, he certainly did now. And they were right. Nearly 37, Donaire was able to dance around Inoue without being cut off for much of the rounds. When he was perilously close to being knocked out, he actually fought his way off the ropes. He got up from a body shot no other top-level Inoue opponent had ever overcome.
He took an awful beating, however — I really would like him to see him retire very soon. And while his initial scans looked okay, I think we're forgetting important recent lessons if all we do is look at scans now. What we need to figure out also is how close Donaire might be to a vessel rupture the next time he enters the ring. I'm not saying he's at risk – – but he might be. Blood on the brain — that's never caused by a single punch but by a litany of them. We need to monitor guys for dangerous trends and examine their brains more proactively.
That said, still, on this night, Donaire also dished out such damaging punishment to Inoue's right eye that he prevented Inoue from landing his trademark liver hook more than once (because the leveraged left stretch-body hook puts the right eye just down Broadway, and Inoue could not afford further damage there — not with his double vision and fracture eye socket).
Donaire lost the fight, but he won the weekend.”
“KSI and Logan Paul won the weekend,” said Kelsey McCarson. “These guys might not come from our culture, but they came into our world and worked their hardest to do their best to be professional boxers. Both looked competent in their own way. It's a brave thing they did no matter how much money they got paid. Most people wouldn't want to fight someone in front of lots of people. Congrats to them for the entertaining show. It was also real boxing. I know this because I've seen much less skilled professional fighters hidden on Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions undercards before.”
“Boxing won the weekend,” said Rachel McCarson. “There’s all kinds of opinions on the KSI-Logan Paul fight, but mine is that taking a chance at breaking into a new demographic is a worthy endeavor for the sport as a whole. (I’m sure Eddie Hearn and DAZN were monetarily rewarded as well.) I personally enjoyed seeing two people step into the ring and a take a chance, and my opinion is that they both took it very seriously and were prepared. (I even found myself wanting to give Logan Paul constructive criticism for what he can do “next” time!) I don’t care much where someone comes from when they step into a ring, whether it be the streets, prison, Olympics, NFL, college or YouTube. I care if they put in the effort to make an attempt to do their best.”
“Naoya Inoue won bantamweight glory, the Muhammad Ali 🏆, Top Rank royalty, generational stardom and the whole damn weekend,” said John Gatling. “He was part of what felt like a sweet science episode of Gotham filmed in Japan, aided greatly by best supporting actor Nonito Donaire and best producer in the World Boxing Super Series — who again delivered what looks to be a new gold standard in boxing. Inoue, who listed the degree of maladies suffered as a result of a rapacious Donaire afterwards, gets my nod due to his resolve in uncharted championship round waters with a bigger and bolder Hall of Fame fighter. The “Monster” almost had Donaire KO'd in the 11th and went out with a bang. Look for Top Rank to allow what looks to be a lock for all-time greatness to remain at 118 to firmly establish divisional dominance.”
“Devin Haney and Billie Joe Saunders in a push for me,” said David Phillips. “Both guys were terrific on a night when either should have been the headliner and both should have been the headline come Sunday morning. Instead, we got two social media influencers who not only headlined the evening, but are all over the boxing coverage today. I'd rather watch Michael Phelps race a CGI shark than that nonsense. But fine, the bearded lady sells tickets and creates conversation. I just wish we who cover the sport wouldn't waste our time with nonsense. And just to be clear, I'm not mentioning their names on purpose. I hear if you write something down you are more likely to remember it, and I don't want to subject myself to that.”
Who won the weekend, Chris Glover? “Me for adding a chief second to my ever growing boxing resume with New York based Englishman Matthew Tinker and Brooklyn’s Khalid Billings winning their pro debuts in South Carolina with my good self in the corner for both.
And then got asked to corner some random fighter on his debut who won too. A crazy weekend.
Aside from my exploits, I think Jamel Herring won the weekend for me in his successful title defense. He seems a good human being and has fantastic backing from Top Rank so I’m exciting to see him continue to progress.”
“While the majority of boxing media decided to give attention to those that rose to popularity by seeking it, the winner of the weekend was an American service member who has given his all to those who don’t always deserve it,” said Jonathan Leir. “Jamel Herring, the fighting Marine. Defending his belt after defending his country. In front of a rank and file who had at his behest been given free tickets. Fighting a real opponent, showcasing true grit in the 11th and deserving of all the attention that boxing media could afford. Unfortunately, most spending time catering to the carnival of money and popularity for clicks and causally. Herring, as before, a Champion in his defense. Despite the lack of attention it deserved.”
“In a fight weekend that was dominated by YouTube celebrities and the attention that surrounded them, Jamel Herring found a way to quietly win the weekend,” said Jeremy Herriges. “In a world infatuated with social media and fame, Herring embodies the antithesis of all that. People get so wrapped up in buzz, gossip, and drama, but Herring serves as a nice reminder that strength of character is more important. He's endured so much throughout his life, yet battles on. Herring is an unlikely champion in many ways, but he defied the odds through hard work and determination. A Marine, Herring fought to a victory on the weekend preceding Veteran's Day. He boxed to a unanimous decision victory against a dangerous prospect in Lamont Roach and successfully defended his WBO super featherweight title. He proves time and time again, that being a good person is invaluable. He rises above pettiness in the boxing business and is the type of role-model that makes his country and his sport proud.”