- Andres Ferrari is ESPN.com’s boxing and MMA editor.
Jamel Herring puts his WBO junior lightweight world title on the line against Shakur Stevenson on Saturday in the main event of a Top Rank card at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta (ESPN, 10:30 p.m. ET; undercard fights at 7:30 p.m, ESPN+).
Herring (23-2, 11 KOs), 35, won the title with a unanimous decision victory over Masayuki Ito in May 2019. He has defended the belt three times, including a tough fight against Jonathan Oquendo in September 2020 and a dominant performance against Carl Frampton in April.
Stevenson (16-0, 8 KOs), 24, is one of the best defensive fighters in boxing. While his fights are not always fan-friendly slugfests, he gets the job done and rarely loses rounds. Stevenson won the WBO featherweight world title two years ago but never defended the belt, instead moving up in weight and looking for bigger challenges. He dominated Jeremia Nakathila in June to win the WBO interim belt at 130. The fight with Herring represents the biggest opportunity of his career in terms of quality of opposition.
Can Herring put enough pressure on Stevenson to get him off his game and score the upset victory? Or will Shakur display another flawless defensive performance to become a champion in a second division?
We asked former opponents and boxing insiders for their takes on the fight and their predictions.
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