There's a big fight this afternoon…
After a year's worth of delays and postponements, former marine Jamel "Semper Fi" Herring (22-2, 10 KOs) is finally set to match up with Northern Ireland's Carl "The Jackal" Frampton (28-2, 16 KOs) later today at Caesars Palace Dubai for Herring's WBO junior lightweight championship belt… The main card starts at 4 PM EST and you can watch it all on ESPN+.
Outside of the belt, here's what's at stake for both fighters:
- Frampton is not only fighting for a strap for the first time since losing the IBF featherweight title to Josh Warrington in 2018, but a victory would also be a historic event for his homeland… A win today would make Carl Frampton the first Irish fighter to win championships in 3 weight divisions and possibly the greatest mick fighter since folk hero Barry McGuigan became featherweight world champion during the height of ‘the Troubles’ … Which means Frampton will probably get his face painted on the side of a depressing schoolhouse somewhere in Ulster.
- On the other hand, if Herring has the fucking AUDACITY to TOTALLY IGNORE Irish history and beat Frampton, it would be considered the best win of his career, but Jamel would probably jump up only one spot in the divisional rankings to No. 3 behind Gervonta Davis (IF the current WBA champ stays at 130) and Oscar Valdez (WBC) in the Junior Lightweights.
Here's the Tale of the Tape:
- Herring got his start as a pro later in life after he got out of the Marine corp, so he is less experienced with only 24 professional fights (vs Frampton's 30) AND is two years older than Carl at 35 years of age.
- But Herring is a big boy… Frampton is not. So Jamel should rehydrate to a healthier weight AND will have a 5-inch height advantage and 7-inch reach advantage when they enter the ring.
- Frampton fights Orthodox (meaning he does not eat pork) and Herring is Southpaw.
- Amongst the delays before this fight, Frampton is still nursing a broken hand from 2019 (which he says is 100% now) and Herring had COVID from not washing his hands (allegedly).
That last little tidbit scares me… I mentioned in my spot-on-100%-CORRECT prediction of Whyte vs Povetkin II last week that the old Russian had just gotten over a bout of COVID and then proceeded to get pushed around the ring by Dillian Whyte like he was on ice skates. I know Povetkin is a 41-year-old with a TON more ring wear than Herring, but I still have no idea how this virus affects fighters downstream.
Still, Frampton has lost his last two shots at a world title, and even though Léo Santa Cruz and Josh Warrington posed much more of a threat to the Belfast boxer than Herring, "The Jackal" will be dealing with physical differences that Léo and Josh never posed.
Curent odds on the BARSTOOL SPORTSBOOK are almost Pick 'em…
… And neither of these gentlemen are knockout artists, so I see Frampton making enough tweaks in camp to deal with Herring's size and go the distance… But if Jamel can just keep The Jackal at arm’s length, he could jab his way to victory on the scorecards, as he did against Japan’s Masayuki Ito to win the title in Florida two years ago.
I will take Jamel Herring (-121) by decision and also throw a couple of bucks on that DRAW (+1400).
ON THE HORIZON:
- There are plenty of fights during the month of April, including Boo Boo Andrade fighting on the same night (separate cards) as Jake Paul on April 17th, but most boxing fans are jonesing for May 8th when Canelo fights Billy Joe Saunders for WBC/WBA/WBO super middleweight unification in front of a real crowd in Arlington, Texas. I believe I am going to be ringside for that event, so expect me to bug the shit out of you with coverage in and around that date because I can't fucking WAIT for that bell to ring, Stallion.
Enjoy the fights and take a report.