Beat To The Punch Ep21

I was joined the line by Nathan Dowie and Riku to speak about all this weeks big boxing news including Jamel Herring picks up a World Title, Hughie Fury and will he ever fulfil his early potential . We also spoke about AJ/Ruiz as well as all the rest of the goings on in the Heavyweight Division.

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Jamel Herring Interview – Fighting Pride

Jamel Herring Interview – Fighting Pride

The United States of America, the home of the brave and the land of the free. On this small planet that we all inhabit there is not a prouder nation upon it. A country who’s citizens are fanatical about being American. As a nation born through war, its people celebrate their veterans past and present. Through wars of independence against the Red Coat Army loyal to Britain or the American Civil war this proud nation in its infancy was built on the sacrifices of its brave young men.

In recent times we have seen on TV the men and woman of US and Coalition Forces go off to fight in an impossible war against an invisible enemy in places likened to hell. We watched on TV as these young men leave behind their families and go to a places where they are expected to risk their lives on a daily basis. We seen on TV the absolute devastation left by a roadside bombs targeting these men and woman…..WE seen on TV whilst THEY lived through it.

Jamel Herring was raised in the Hamlet of Coram, New York. A place which looks  picturesque on a Google search but like most places in todays world you don’t have to try to hard to find that “street life” is usually thriving off of human vices away from the cameras. Jamel explained how he steered clear of falling into the “Life”.

“Coram was a crazy place live at times and then it could be so peaceful. I seen a lot of my friends getting caught up doing things that they shouldn’t have been doing , especially at a really young age. Me? I found sports to keep me busy and away from that kind of life”

Jamel happily admits that boxing was never his first love. Like so many youngsters in the US there is only one sport for them and that’s American Football.

 “When i got started in sport it was playing football in high school, that was the sport that sent me on my way to being an athlete and doing things of that nature. It was years later before I laced up a set of boxing gloves, I was like 15 or 16 years old”

The New Yorker may have been late coming into boxing but he was eager to make up for lost time. After just a year in the sport a young Jamel picked up his first amateur loss to future middleweight world champion Danny Jacobs during the New York Junior Olympic Finals in 2002.

In the 2003 the World was on the verge of War again. It was plain to see that no diplomatic solution would be reached between the US and the Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi Government. Jamel Herring was Graduating from school whilst his country was gearing up for war. Like so many of us at that time in our lives Herring felt lost in what to do in life until his friend Suggested he enlist in the military and do something with his life and that’s exactly what he did.

“I went and joined the marine corp coming straight out of school. I was still only 17 years old, in fact i spent my 18th Birthday in bootcamp. Once I started my military career I thought that I wouldn’t have had time for boxing. Boxing was a bit stop start for the next few years…..soldier first, boxer second”

image.pngIn 2005 the young Marine was sent on his first tour of war torn Iraq after being deployed in the infamous Iraqi City of Fallujah. Now working with a Recon Unit as an electrician who’s job it was to seek out insurgents tasked with planting IEDs and Roadside bombs . For those of us old enough to remember, Fallujah was a place we seen on the news daily. Renowned as one of the most dangerous places in the world at the time, Jamel said to me in as serious a tone that only a military man could “Being in Iraq in a time of war really took my mind away from boxing”. Once home from Iraq Jamel admitted he had a new found appreciation of American values and way of life.

In all Jamel did two tours in Iraq firstly in 2005 and then again in 2007 but on his second tour things had changed, Jamel had become a father and with parenthood comes responsibilities, for a soldier that is staying alive.image.png

Herring did have success in the ring between tours of Iraq but he admits his mind was always on the job he had to do in the Middle East and getting home safely to his family. The war veteran explained that being in the Marine Corp in a time of war means your mind is solely focussed on doing a job which meant “Boxing was always in my heart but it had to take a back seat”. He admits that there was a time when he thought he would never be able to get back into the boxing the way he would have wanted but that was all going change.

Coming back from a war zone to civilisation is often one of the hardest things any soldier will do. From being on a constant level of high alert then walking right back into your life back home. When the then 22 year old came back after his second tour he explained how still being in the military, and their boxing team helped him resettle and get back into the life he had left behind.

“It took a while , a really long time. It wasn’t easy but i was determined. I was determined to get back into boxing. I concentrated on being the best fighter I could be in the boxing team because the better you are on the team the better the chances of you sticking around and that’s what i needed in my life at that time”

Due to his Military career The New Yorker had always felt like he was playing catch up in the ring and that he could never really have a good run at boxing that way he always wanted to, but in the next couple of years that all changed. Refocussed on boxing Jamel says “I started studying the amateur system a lot more than i ever had before and that helped Me a lot in the ring, it wasn’t long before i started moving up the rankings” and after winning Gold at the 2012 Olympic trials Jamel was going to the London Olympics, the first Marine Corps boxer to do so since 1992.

On 27th July 2012 the opening ceremony for the London Olympic Games got underway. This is the day that every athlete at any Olympic Games looks forward to, a ceremony that celebrates the achievements of every athlete of just making it there, which will be the pinochle of so many’s career. The now father of four had fought for his country on the battlefield, now he would do so in the ring on the world stage, but the opening ceremony was a day of mixed emotions for Jamel. On the 27th July 2009 Jamel’s partner found their young daughter Ariyanah who was in bed wasn’t breathing, and although Doctors tried they couldn’t save the two month old child. The cause of death was later determined as SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). During our interview i made a conscious decision not to ask Jamel about this as a token of respect as the tragedy is already well documented. On that night of the opening ceremony Jamel said he looked up to the sky and said “Baby Girl I made it”

London 2012 is remembered as one of the great Olympic Games and Jamel felt right at home in the UK.

“I’m from New York so coming to London it was like a home away from for me. Once i was over in London i quickly adapted to the people and made some really good friends some of whom I am still close to.”

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The Olympian said He didn’t fair to well in the olympic games but he felt he had done himself and the Marine Corp proud. Jamel had loved his time in London and had made some good friends through the sport.

“I would love to go back to the UK one day to entertain the people over there. I’m friends with Josh Taylor and i am really happy with what he’s doing for himself in the sport. People need to remember boxing is like a fraternity. What i mean by that is that its a very small community so Josh is still a good friend of mine and he just fought another good friend of mine Ryan Martin”

Coming home from the Olympic games the American made one of the hardest decisions of his life when he decided to leave the Marine Corp and pursue his dream of becoming a Professional Boxer. Now with a record of 18-2-0 10KO picked up USBA Super Featherweight Title in his last fight with a points win over John Vincent Moralde Jamel should soon be world ranked with the IBF.

There is a saying used by Marines “My time in uniform maybe over, but being a Marine never ends” now adopting the alias “Semper Fi” which is a Marine Corp motto, Herring is a proud example of that.

“I love this sport. I still support the amateur system to this day. I’m doing really well right now in the pro game but my main goal has alway been to represent the Marine Corp to the best of my ability and with pride. Whether that was in the amateurs or now as a pro, that gives me enjoyment and i hope it gives the Corp”

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Now promoted by Bob Arum’s Top Rank “Semper Fi” has said in 2019 He will have a decision to make. He can wait for his shot at the IBF or he does have the option to go the WBO route, Jamel says one thing is for sure though.

“In 2019 i WILL be fighting for a world title of that i have no doubt. I will be a world champion. Not only that i will want to unify the division as well. Some guys today get a title and have no interest in Unifying but not me though, I want to be a unified world champion”

*Jamel Herring is fighting again on 14th December in Texas

World Boxing Super Series – Josh Taylor Presser

World Boxing Super Series – Josh Taylor Presser

Glasgow , 15th October 

This tournament has been described as the Champions League of boxing in the past and when you walk into the press conference you certainly get that feel . Representation from all the major media outlets were in attendance from BBC to ITV (STV) , then you have your big players in the boxing media like Ring Mag and IFL in attendance , but something the WBSS has got right when it comes to the media is that it’s not ” Job’s for the Boys” which is usually the case with these big showpiece events . The World Boxing Super Series have on more than one occasion now made space for small independent outlets like myself which is a breath of fresh air .

Nisse Sauerland got thing’s underway in the presser outlining exactly just what this tournament is trying to do  ….build stars . Nisse also emphasised that this tournament is aimed at a global audience  so although they faced criticism for Season 1 final being in Saudi Arabia they won’t change . Josh Taylor looked in fantastic shape and we found out why . Taylor now has a permanent training base in London which means he isn’t spending the full camps . Taylor said he ready fight now,  a couple of weeks out from fight night and predicts still with some hard training to come in the next two weeks he will be in the best shape of his career .

WATCH PRESS CONFERENCE HERE

After the initial press conference we had time to catch up with Josh and Nisse

Ticket’s start at £35 and this is a show thats not to be missed as Bantamweight World Champion Ryan Burnett will take on Nonito Donair on the same card . Tickets can be purchased here Tickets

Competition Outside The Ring May Damage Competition Inside The Ring

Competition Outside The Ring May Damage Competition Inside The Ring

Every sport need’s one vital ingredient to thrive and that is competition . In boxing there is nothing that comes close to watching two evenly matched fighters battle it out to see who can find that extra something within themselves to get the victory . With competition comes rivalries and it is the rivalries that help elevate sport to a global audience . Where boxing is now tripping itself up is now we have promoters following the above blueprint of competition and it is damaging the sport . image.png

Don King is probably the most famous or infamous promoter of all time bringing us some of the most timeless fights of all time , but Don King was a big Lion in a small jungle  . King didn’t need to worry about multiple platforms and online streaming platforms as competition all aligned with different promoters all cash rich from big TV deals . Don King could make the biggest fights in boxing because he could make the fighters the most money , a very simple but effective model which no longer works in today’s game .

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In the past couple of years we have seen boxing explode across multiple platforms in the UK and the US with more TV dates to fill than the sport has ever seen . Now some people may think this is a good thing for boxing , after all competition is good right ? Well not necessarily in this instance . One major flaw is that we will now see boxers put on TV before they are ready due to the amount date that need to be filled  , which will be detrimental to their development  . All boxing fans know how important the small hall scene is to the progression of a boxer . To use an old apprenticeship term “It’s where you serve your time” and like an apprentice you will go to work for a low wage in exchange for an education in your trade . How many young fighter’s will suffer at the hands of promoters only interested in filing TV slots . It is a very real possibility that the standards of boxing show’s will drop dramatically which will damage the sport .  image.png

There is another flaw in these massive multi platform deals is that crossover fights will be pretty non-existent . The same reason that see Super fights happen few and far between we will now see fringe world level to mid-level boxers stopped from crossing over . TV dates will trump a fighter progression . What we see is certain promoters trying to corner certain division and keep everything in house which is not healthy . With fighters not being allowed to the cross a divide it will inevitably lead to more one sided fights .

Right now there probably isn’t a better time for a boxer to be a free agent .

Steven Donnell

Welcome To The Jungle – Hearn Will Never Take Over The US Market

Welcome To The Jungle – Hearn Will Never Take Over The US Market

Here in Britain we really don’t appreciate how simple our lives are when it comes to boxing . Yes we may moan about having to pick up Boxnation and BT Sport on top of our Sky Sports Subscription ( Unless you click on the Satplex picture below which you can thank me for later ) all just to watch boxing . Here in the UK we accept boxing is not one of our main sports but we see it as a stimulant . Our Boxing platforms don’t wrap up boxing in a bow and serve to to us , boxing is there to excel the Liverpool vs Man Utd game that may have took place earlier on in the day , or to keep you tuned In after the Celtic vs Rangers game has finished and do you know what it’s worked , it has came off for guys like Eddie Hearn who have brought boxing to the masses and tapped into that football ( soccer ) mad culture that engulfs all of these small isles .

With the formula of success in his hands who could blame Eddie Hearn for heading to the biggest sports market in the world shouting ” I am here to take over ” . Many people fall into this belief that there is a “western culture” due to there being a McDonnald’s in New York as well as London , due to there being a Taco Bell in Glasgow as well as in LA . The Atlantic Ocean is often overlooked as a pond that separates the UK and the US but it isn’t , it is a massive wild ocean which separates two very different cultures of people and businesses . Eddie Hearn is finding out the hard way that the wars of American Independence of 1775 have made him an outsider , in fact he is now a red coat looking to repatriate the US shouting ” I am here to take over ” .

Hearn has announced he has teamed up with DAZN in an attempt to take over the US , an online streaming platform with Hearn claiming its a deal worth $1B . Now i have been very sceptical about this deal since Eddie announced it , especially since Eddie announced that AJ was not part of the deal , which seems weird as AJ seems to appears on most of there online posters .

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Now a major part of modern American culture is Cinema . With Mafia movies being classed as Cinematography masterpieces . Movies such as the Godfather Trilogy , Goodfellas and Casino being all described as classics in there own right . These movies are powerful due to the fact they show what the modern America was really built on . Instead of being fictional stories they are seen more like documentaries of how some came to the US and ” Took ” the American Dream . Hearn is finding out that there is a MOB mentality ingrained in the US boxing market , with the five families being Top Rank , PBC , Golden boy , DiBella and Tom Loeffler (K2) and like the mafia these people don’t need nor want any outside interference .

As Eddie Hearn has flashed his $1B he has found door after door slammed shut on his face . Hearn didn’t factor into his plans that he is an outsider in a country that is becoming increasingly more insular . With US super powers such as Top Rank already having deals with ESPN , Golden Boy with ESPN + Facebook and PBC now officially teaming up with Showtime there is no need for DAZN . Time and time again we have seen guys like Mikey Garcia, Errol Spence, both Charlo Twins and Adrian Broner say ” Thank’s but no thanks ” .Hearn is finding himself more like Oliver Twist begging for the the scraps from the table rather than the a man who’s landed in the states looking to claim boxing back in the name of King George the III .

Eddie Hearn is a shroud business man who has took boxing and the live boxing show’s experience to a new level here in the UK . There is a whole new generation of boxing fans here in the UK that believe that Hearn invented sport and that the UK is now Mecca in boxing terms . To these people i say the sport needs you but take yourself back away from the pin hole you look through , Mecca is still a bingo hall in the UK , the home of boxing is and always will be in the US . Eddie Hearn is learning the hard way that a big fish outside the bowl will die , whilst the the big fish inside the bowl will fight over scraps .

Steven Donnell