Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring Interview: U.S. Marine. 2012 Olympian. Future World Champ?
By: Matthew N. Becher
Jamel Herring is an undefeated (14-0 8KO), thirty year old lightweight, who currently fights under the Premier Boxing Champions camp and will be headlining his first televised boxing card on February 9th at the Sands Bethlehem Events center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, live on Fox Sports 1.
Herring is slowly making his way up the divisional rankings and took some time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions about himself, his past, and what we should expect to see from him in the upcoming year.
Boxing Insider: As a young man, you had a good amateur career, but decided to enlist in the military when you were 18. What made you decide on becoming a soldier?
Jamel Herring: I decided to enlist because of the events that took place on 9/11. Me, being a New Yorker, I felt that it hit home for me. I decided to do something more constructive with my life at the time. Coming out of high school, I chose to become a Marine.
Boxing Insider: How long did you end up serving?
Jamel Herring: I was in the Marine Corp from October 2003 until November 2012, so 9 years. I was deployed to Iraq two times, in 2005 and again in 2007.
Boxing Insider: After your time in the military, you were able to represent the United States in a different way, and that was as a 2012 Olympian. Describe that for us?
Jamel Herring: It was a great honor, especially for the fact that I was the only marine representing in the 2012 games as a whole. To not only represent your country as an athlete but to also represent the Marine Corp was an honor and a blessing.
Boxing Insider: Right now you are 30 years old. You’re undefeated. Do you feel that time is ticking at the moment, as far as taking big fights in your career?
Jamel Herring: I use to feel that way at times, especially when I came out of the Olympics. I knew that it would be a while until I got the fights that I needed, but luckily for me I signed with the right people, the right team, Mike Stafford as my trainer and Al Haymon as my advisor. He has put me in the right direction on where I need to go and I haven’t had a lot of wear and tear. So far I’ve been doing really great as a pro and everything that I’ve asked for Al is doing. I want to step up, I want those fights while I’m still in decent shape and in my prime. And right now I’m getting my opportunities and I’m taking full advantage of them.
Boxing Insider: One of those opportunities is coming on February 9th, when you are headlining a PBC card on FS1. You will be taking on Luis Flores of Columbia. What do you know about him, and what can you do to take advantage of his mistakes?
Jamel Herring: I just know he is a tall, rangy guy. I’ve been working with my close friend Robert Easter Jr., who is an Al Haymon signed fighter. We’ve been sparring often. I know Flores has a decent hook. I can’t really determine if he has great power because his resume is built off a lot of guys that are based in Columbia and have losing records. But me, being me, I’m not going to take a chance in finding out. So I’m just preparing for the best Flores that I can prepare for.
Boxing Insider: What are your goals for 2016 and how many times can we expect to see you fight this year?
Jamel Herring: This year you can expect to see me at least four times, we are going to shoot for five this year. But I was told, that sometime, later on this year that we will be going for a title shot. So basically get through these fights and then get the contenders.
Boxing Insider: So title is definitely in the plans for 2016?
Jamel Herring: Yes, 2016 is big fights and a title. Not sure exactly which one, but I spoke with Al and he said “it’s coming”.
Boxing Insider: Is there anything that you learned from your time in the military that you have transitioned into your career as a professional boxer?
Jamel Herring: My mentality. I’ve been through a lot. I’ve been overseas, I’ve seen things and it can’t get no worse or harder then what I was going through. I’ve been through tough times and rough situations. So I believe that fighting is the fun part.