Jamel Herring retained his WBO junior lightweight title with a scintillating sixth-round stoppage of Carl Frampton at The Rotunda Caesars Palace Bluewaters in Dubai on Saturday.
Frampton stated before the fight that he would retire from the sport if he was unable to take the title from the 35-year-old Herring, and Frampton did exactly that after his loss.
The 5-10 Herring had been looking for the fight that would earn him the respect he has been desperately seeking. Facing a former two-time champion was the remedy.
Herring used his height and reach advantages to keep Frampton on the end of his jab as he circled away whenever the Irish fighter drew close. It looked as if Frampton was slowly turning the tide on Herring in the third round as he worked the body and opened a cut over the former Marine’s right eye.
Frampton seemed to have cracked the code by using his pressure to close the gap. Unfortunately, he paid the price for his confidence as he walked right into a straight left hand that put him down in the fourth round.
He would never recover.
Herring cranked up the pressure and landed a bevy of power shots in the fifth round as Frampton desperately sought to find his way back into the fight. Recognizing that he would be unable to win a boxing match, Frampton attempted to turn the fight into a brawl, but Herring was brimming with confidence and was poised to pick off his attacking opponent.
The end came when Frampton dipped his head and slammed his face into a perfectly timed Herring uppercut. Frampton sank to the canvas and it appeared the fight was over at that point. Somehow, “The Jackal” made it to his feet and swung at Herring on instinct. Herring allowed his reckless opponent to land the lucky shot and then picked him off with a series of power shots that eventually had Frampton’s corner throwing in the towel at 1:40 of the sixth.
Herring teased a move up in weight class afterward, but he is also intrigued by the idea of a unification bout with WBC junior lightweight champion Oscar Valdez.