Lightweight prospect Jamel Herring was a 2012 U.S. Olympian, but unlike many Olympians who move quickly in the pro ranks, he has been moved at a slower pace.
He is getting in rounds and learning the pro game after a late start to his career -- he’s 29 already. He’ll be back in action Saturday night (8 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime Extreme) at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati on the undercard of Khabib Allakhverdiev (19-1, 9 KOs) against Adrien Broner (30-2, 22 KOs). They meet for a vacant junior welterweight belt, even though they are both coming off losses.
Herring (13-0, 8 KOs) will face his most formidable opponent in Yakubu Amidu (21-7-2, 19 KOs), 30, a native of Ghana living in Los Angeles. The scheduled 10-round bout will be Herring's first time on television.
Herring, from Coram, New York, is excited about the step up in competition and the exposure. Although Amidu has lost his past three fights, he is vastly experienced. The two most recent losses came to quality opponents in contenders Jose Felix Jr. (a 10-round decision) and Ivan Redkach (a sixth-round knockout).
"He's my best opponent yet,” Herring said. “He's a tough guy, very durable. He's a lot more durable than my last few opponents. I take nothing from him, but I'm motivated and looking forward to pushing myself more than anything. It's going to be a great step up and people are going to see a lot more than they've seen from me in the past."
The fight will be Herring’s fourth of the year and he said he has trained constantly.
"I'm in great shape. I just had a fight back at the end of August,” he said. “I took literally three days off instead of a whole week and came right back, so I've been in shape for the past three months getting to this date.
"It's a blessing to be able to showcase my talent on the national scene instead of the local venues or being on the big cards but not getting any kind of TV exposure. Now I'm part of the big show.”