The pugilistic pride of Coram, Long Island, Jamel Herring hopes to rise to 2-0 as a pro when he gloves up against a to-be-determined opponent on Feb. 16 in Atlantic City. The 2012 US Olympian fights on the same card as Adrien Broner, who headlines against Gavin Rees in a show promoted by Golden Boy. HBO will televise it if you aren't inclined to make the trek to Boardwalk Hall.
Herring, 27, a Marine who deployed to Iraq in 2005 and 2007, is trained by Mike Stafford, a Cincinnati native who also tutors young gun Broner.
I asked Stafford to give his take on how Herring, who turned pro with a UD4 win over Jose Valderrama on Dec. 8, is progressing.
"He's doing great, I'm making him use his left hand more, that's always good," said Stafford, on the phone from a training camp in Colorado Springs for Broner, Herring and others on the Feb. 16. card. "I want him to generate power, he has good legs and I want power in his shots."
So he's acclimating well to the pros? "He's around tough guys, he's sparring Brandon Bennett (14-0 super featherweight), William Jackson (10-1 welterweight), guys who are pros three, four, five years. He's around Adrien as well. He's a grown man, and we work hard. That's how he made the Olympic team, he didn't have the skills or flash as a Rau'She Warren, but he's got the work attitude. He started late but he's a man."