Ep. #19 – Jamal Herring

Jamel Herring is a boxer who is currently the WBO Junior Lightweight Champion. He spent nine years as a marine serving two tours and won the 2011 and 2012 Armed Forces Championships, while serving as a sergeant in the US Marine Corps. He went on to be the only marine to compete at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.


Jamal Herring: No I’ll get all right, so how’s the house quarantine going in the family, Island families, families good can’t complain like I said, I’m using this time in the quarantine just to bond. You know more with families. Pres uses a moment on, but I’m not you know home. I’M always bouncing all over the country whatever. Well, I can’t complain I’m just making most strange. How is the house training going? Obviously it’s a little bit complicated and still keep still staying, slim keeping, you know, keeping trimmed down close to waiting tonight. You know waiting for that phone call when things you know start to move back to being normal, so I don’t want to be too much out of shape overweight, but I’m you know I’m making the most of things. Okay, I can’t complain. You are doing a lot of running. Does that tell you that seems to be what I’m doing right now are: do lots of cardio you’ve trained in the past with Terence Crawford, who, I think is number one in the world right now, arguably pound for pound number one? What’S it like getting that training in with a guy like that, got the t-shirt on now, oh yeah, he’s good he’s great individual be to be around. He brings a lot of energy. A lot of experience. I’M used to me he’s like another trainer in my corner. So you know to be around to be around him: there’s definitely a huge advantage for me, especially I’m mentally. You know, their training was my debt. Each and every day during camp is a blessing. Your uh, your road, and I guess your journey to get to where you are – is something that I almost relate to like a film like it almost seems like surreal. Almost you know you had a long road. You spent nine years in the military. You competed the Olympics, you, you had quite the journey and I think it’s probably one of the most inspiring in arguably all of boxing. So, can you talk a little bit about your military experience, I guess and and and how it how it’s played a role in your boxing and, first and foremost man. Thank you for your for your service, I’m Canadian, but love to to anybody who serves. I appreciate that, oh well, that’s you know. I listed back in 2003, you know two years, so maybe why I’m from New York, so you know being in from New York, don’t know 9/11 incident that we had you know is my main. You know reason why you know I am listening to the military to the Marine Corps, especially but um yeah 2003. I enlisted by 2005. I was already deployed to Fallujah Iraq. You know which, which was bomb I open. You know I was only like nineteen years over time to. I was still the kid. I was still basis to the kid but um. I looked a lot over there and I learn I learned, but mainly to appreciate life and value things a lot more, especially the things that I do have by um 2007. I was deployed again and it was at that deployment where I decided you know to give boxing another chance. You know just you know, do something different for the under under the Marine Corps and that’s why I mainly got most of my awesome um. My amateur boxing experience was was a during my time as a Marine, because it got me all the way to you know, like I said the Olympics, the Olympic to Olympic team and where I bet she became the Olympic team captain, which was a huge honor, but Um yeah, most of my, like the marine code to this day, plays a huge role in my life because, like I said I am list, I was like still 17 years old, don’t know 18 in bootcamp, so most of my adulthood was in the Marine Corps. So you know I credit a lot. You know that I’m going to now thanks to the Marine Corps, because on even even my personal box career like as you see, you know what I rank, they admire my military background. So they’d, be, you know, they’d, be put a lot of wrong content from my military career in play with my boxing career. So I think it’s a I think is well like I am I’m an MMA junkie, I’m obsessed with mixed martial arts. I’M a new boxing fan and one of the things that I mean, I guess made me reach out to you was your background and your story, and I think I think that is is a selling point as well, and I think it’s probably one of the big Reasons why you’re at a place like top ranked where you know people people admire people who have fought through certain things, especially people who had who had served a question? That’S kind of you. Probably no one’s ever asked you. I said it’s kind of like your story and your backgrounds kind of like a movie. Have you ever thought, like maybe after you’re done, that maybe a movie should be done kind of did in your in your honor to kind of know my partner, my business partner, close friend JC for Mau in la wild king wild wild card King at wild card? King on Instagram atwitter well he’s been. They actually been pitching that idea for a while, especially up that will not first world title. You know, that’s been that’s been brought up. It’S been brought to the table, I mean for most folks in on my career yeah. You know movie hair has been talked about even even a book as well. So um, you know those those things you know I can see myself, you know doing it doing as well. You know, even during my career, you don’t just just talk the groundwork leading up to that point. Well, yeah. The movie has definitely been mentioned before by numerous people – who’s who’s, someone that you’d want to play play as you in that in that movie that’s tough stuff. I think like at least right now, I’m still young. I was due at least my arm two older me as myself, but for the most part like um people bro, you know my son cuz he’s based like my twin. He would play like my younger years. Of course, but I’m here and I really thought of an actor who potentially could play me, does he do any of your kids to boxing or have they just like my own, my junior. He wants to do boxing, so you know I’m sending them out some gear and stuff, but um, but most part they do like track baseball soccer, and things like that. You know I’m trying to get into more physical sports, of course, but um you know, like I said I didn’t want to do. I just a support, but I’ve been one of my juniors definitely trying to pick up boxing now yeah, so it does. It doesn’t matter to you if it’s combat you wan na, do you know I’m gon na be a father sport yeah. I know like a lot of parents like my parents, if I told them at sixteen seventeen like hey, I want to get punched in the head. Don’T think they’d be super supportive of it. I was. I was a swimmer, so not much physical contact there, no uh, no shots to the head um. What’S the what’s the ultimate goal? Obviously you won. You won your first world title back in 2019, the day after my birthday, so congrats on on on winning. That must have been huge. It must have felt like all your all. Your hard work is has paid off. Oh yeah, definitely definitely own dad. That was those to me. That was one task unless, like you pointed out, what’s the goal afterwards um for the most part I just want to unify and continue to win more world titles. Of course, I’m just a continue building and tell him apart. Just keep testing myself, you know I never like. I never get satisfied with just one thing. You know I thought won the title I was like to follow week. I was already thinking about okay. What can I do next? What can I do next? So I’m always trying to you know, go to the next level and keep pushing myself. I never get too comfortable boy. Definitely I want to win probably another world title and in Division, I’m in now and then a potentially move up to another weight class and win a title as well, but there’s always more out there and I’m it was available. You know, and it was in arms distance – I’m definitely gon na go for. Is there? Is there one fighter? Obviously you have the belt that, in my opinion, one of the best in the world lumen choco used to have. Is that a fight that interests? You obviously isn’t a different way: class yeah. Of course, I’m Anna Cheng was one of the best like to play. I won the best in the world. You know, I think it would be a huge honor to share the ring with him. I mean and that’s what I mean if you still have light weight, I’m all up to light weight. Why are you still there? You know? Maybe we can. Maybe we could do something that lightweight together, but definitely like. I said I just want to continue fighting the best out there own Leo Santa Cruz is not another name on my list on Miguel blood shell as well, but um yeah. Definitely any of those guys that you just brought up to like lomachenko um. Why not? You know I felt like I have over over achieved more and people talking to anyway, so why not keep going? You know, keep pushing it Dimitar. Yeah I’ve been reading speculation on you and Carl Frampton is that is that still still a toxin is there? Is there there’s a third date for that? Do you know or nomination there’s not a date? The original date would jump to June 13th, but obviously could do to the Oklahoma virus. Don’T things I got a push back, but um we’re hopefully still having an open fight by the summertime, at least so I’m just waiting, I’m just sitting back waiting for home. You know my promoter, Bob Arum and top-ranked um. You know come back with some something new. Some new word or whatever, but um contract is definitely distilled alone, that the number one priority right now so we’re just hoping that we can still you know, get that fight going. So it’s possibly at least before the year is over with and before we move on to other things, do you uh, do you envision that? Do you want that in the United States, or does it matter you? Obviously, it looks like it looks like it’s gon na happen. In effect, I’ve been a skidding word from the media that you know due to the like, said the day being pushed now, there’s only a certain time of the year. We could have a fight outdoor in Belfast and then like pretty much once it starts cooling down. It gets real cold in the area, so now they’re having ideas of bringing the fight back to the arm. The US. I know he’s only actually said that he wants to have a fight at mass super Square Garden. Now you know there’s a possibility, so you know I mean being from New York. I would not argue against that, but yeah. I just feel I just feel bad for the fans out in Belfast Northern Ireland who wanted to fight the one to fight the chance to go out that way. But you know things happen, but um we had that we have to adjust. So, like I said, the fight happens in the u.s. it happens in the US. My main thing is as long as I get getting a ring, I’m happy with that. Are you physically good like right now if it were to be June, are you good to go in June because I would still have at least eight week training camp? You know to get ready using that for plenty of time. Your arm, you know to get myself properly prepared for that fight, physically and mentally so yeah. Still in June. I have no yeah, it’s no issue with me getting up and no formula. My team, like ten, is confident and rest of the guys name, because I have a strength coach. I have real attrition zone nutritionist on hand, so yeah. That’S not that one to the issue, like I said logic, it was I get to date. First, we can easily map out to camp. We part week. Okay, I have a so I’ve reached out to a few friends of mine who are guesser more I’m I like boxing. I grew up watching boxing shifted to MMA and kind of came back with big fights. Like Fury and while there like, I wasn’t missing that, but I asked them. I guess I said like what sorts of questions and uh one of them who’s, who kind of watched you uh when the title and one question he had, and I think it’s a great question is: where do you think your boxing career could have been? If you didn’t go into the military, I don’t know that’s a great question honestly. I could I’ve heard that before I their question before but um, I don’t think it would be as prestigious as it is now, because if you look a lot a lot of my fights now on the main event level they’re based around my military background, my last Two fights they they’ve done. A special features of my Marine Corps background, so I, but most part I was mentally toughened up by the Marine Corps. So I don’t know if I will be the same fighter. You know, even if I, if I joined the Marine Corps, so I guess Weiss. I give a lot of credit to everything that I’ve done the Marine Corps to what I do now yeah. I really like, I think it’s on your, your bio or one of your posts. You said you know, you’ve conquered you’ve done all these things, you’re in the military. You you had some personal troubles as well in your past and not any one in front of me. Doesn’T scare me – and I think that goes a long way to say you know what military I’ve seen it all yeah exactly yeah. I think you know people who kind of go through that makes them a better fighter in turn. So maybe, if you didn’t go to military, you may not have become a world champion, so the mindset on things that may not be appreciated. Well, you know when things that I have you know so yeah the Marine Corps definitely still plays a huge role in my career. The the one thing – that’s always bothered me, I guess about boxing and I think, a lot of people in the MMA world kind of view that the same way, I think, there’s pros and cons to both one of them is that there’s four champions or five main Champions per division is that something that you like or something you don’t like? Obviously you have one of the belts. I mean it’s kind of frustrating at time. You know as a put a fighter cuz you want to, like you know, cuz at times we hold all those titles you get labeled as just a Titleist. You know instead of like a world champion. So it’s me, that’s what I mean like you know. My goal is to start unifying titles, to prove that I’m the best in Division of these well, you know, like I said you look at it from this – is that big man comes down to the business of blocks, and nowadays so you know it is what it Is like, but, like I say if champion, is you know eventually you just pull them together and you make great fights among each other. It helps it helps make the spore a lot easier to watch him for people to recognize you a champion yeah. Well, I mean I find it’s hard like you saw it, I guess with Pacquiao and Mayweather for a lot a lot of years. They each held different belts, same division, but they could never make the matchup and I find it – and I know the best is between them, so yeah, exactly like you, for example, Spence and your and Crawford you don’t know because they won’t fight there, because if they Can’T make the fight most part like say it’s, not just the titles that have the issue. It’S the promotional too many people, at least like MMA. You have okay, you have your Bellator UFC, but you know there’s not too many different from notice. Big motors out there. They were the best on finding the best you know and guys at both. You know at least in MMA. You see, you see part of the jump ship from one to the other, but to make those fights at least you know so well, boxing is a lot different. You know most a guy assigned to this guy or this individual, it’s kind of hard to get those. Those big price that we wanted you mentioned MMA, are you your fan of them and man? Oh you’re, a fan of Conor McGregor, but are you fan of MMA as a whole? Who’S uh who’s, your fighter? Who do you? Who do you still watch a lot around? John st. Pierre joyce de pierres, canadian George yeah, and then you know I mean didn’t we have the spider name to date, ceilings with those losses, but um he leave loss to a fellow guy from Long Island. So I was, I wasn’t too upset. I wasn’t too upset, but uh. You know you know so III. Keep I keep. I keep on just like said Millie with the woman fighter. That’S what I love, I’m a meadow with a they’re women fighters get a lot more respect. Then I could say and women in boxes absolutely. I only know I only know one female boxer Clarissa. She like yeah, you know, I’m actually you know friends with arm cyborg. You know cyborg um, I’m a friend, I’m a fan of all you know. So it means slaughter. There’S a lot of great fights that were even like carrying credit. Even got mean women like Ronda Rousey, who’s, putting it on the map you know putting in woman’s woman is fighting out there like that in the Menem so popular, and then you know trail other women just followed by hotter. So that’s why a little better man, you know the least they own they take care of they take care of them. They’Re women athletes know. Sometimes you know boxing men can take a page out of that, but um well yeah, like I said, I likes a toast. Let me fight extremism else. Like you know the rampage Jackson’s and dies like at times, but yeah yeah. I still I still keep up with you know. Like said him, oh yeah, I don’t I’m not one of those boxes that does like knocking. You know I appreciate: is this different craft, of course, so I don’t try to compare to you know I appreciate both of them for what they do. You know I don’t try to say well, this one is better because of this there’s two different: two different crafts. Yes, they’re both combat sports, but they handle it two different ways. You know I mean it’s not like um. What was it back in the day, man in Pride FC? What was with my to back back to him pride was was huge back in the day but um yeah yeah. I come from that. Coming. That era know growing up. You know they’re watching they’re watching those fights. I mean people like that people tend to forget how about how UFC started. There was no weight classes at times, yeah Dana White’s, a good guy in his involved. Do you think that had you started? Obviously, MMA is a much newer sport than boxing. Do. You think, had you started five years later, ten years later, you may have decided to do MMA. Oh, I don’t know because I say MMA like is more than just people understand, is more than just kicking and punching the rise. Guys come from like a different like martial art background yes like, and I really wasn’t really into that even growing up, so I wouldn’t couldn’t say like oh we’re doing mermaid, because no I mean they said boxing. Just did my thing. You know about those there’s. Always a boxing gym where I was at so, and it wasn’t too many like you know, jiu-jitsu gyms and things like that about nature. So it’s kind of hard to say kind of hard. I this platform that I built – I guess in MMA I kind of I kind of developed it by making predictions and and giving my thoughts on who I thought was the best of all time. So I’m going to ask you those types of questions. If you don’t mind who are your top three boxers pound per pound today, half a pound today kind of hard cuz, my look, it’s always on so always changing hands man, one guy one guy want disappointed in the keys. Messing up is Jones because um he’s had he’s had a great run, but he wasn’t troubled with the whole. You know situations and things like that he’s like he’s had he has the potential still to be great but, like you know, due to his own, his troubles outside of the cage you know kinda like hampers his legacy. You know moving on and of course you know many money. Many are in love with Conor, but you know he had. He had a you know. He kind of took took some time back and you know at this Pacific his last lost things and you know so it’s kind of hard like even a boxing there’s kind of you know one minute you’ll say Lobo check is number one in the next minute. Canelo has a great fight, there’s blood, so it’s kind of hard. That’S why everything for me for most part, I just you, know, appreciate and enjoy greatness as I’m witnessing it cuz. You know it’s kind of, but I feel like a lot of these guys out. There will be just no great in their own way when it’s all said and done who’s your who’s. Your best like I have I’m not familiar with boxing who’s, your top boxer of all time of all the time all rest apiece, pronounced, Sweet, Pea. Whitaker is part. One of my favorites, but it’s so many like so many I can’t just choose one but up like I said if ours is like guys with my hair, like like Winky Wright, Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather, so there’s so many great champions out there. But it’s just hard to pick. One was a ever been a time where cuz you’ve met Floyd you’ve met. Randy has ever been a time where you’re like, oh, my god, it’s Floyd Mayweather. Oh my have you ever been starstruck or like taken back by the people. You’Ve met, I believe I said I’ll, say light. It’S all coming down the first time you meet these individuals so see when you come amateur ranks to the professional ranks. I was like, I think, I’m Manny Pacquiao inspired the first big star that I met face to face before even before Florida. I met many packs out just like honored just to be in his presence, but I’m real, humble guy, and they you know God, like man, he’s reason why I like today, I’m humble myself cuz. You know many huge megastar, you know, but he still remembers when he came from the he’s, never changed so you know look at guys like that and I’m, like you know, I’m gon na, be something like that computer to remember me by and I’m what I’m doing When I’m done with boxing well uh last question outside of combat sports altogether, what are you watching on TV? What are you doing to occupy your mind? Is there anything I just finished watching all three seasons of Ozark, so you know hey. You know everyone watched, I regained most prophetís know just like spending time to family, and you know watching moves and my daughter’s you know, especially I think I have a Disney Plus. So you know definitely only on Disney Plus a lot, but I’m just most part just making time making the most informed over on a bad situation into a positive thing. So I’m just you know, spend time with the family and just you know, relaxing the rest of my body and rest of my mind and because, like I say when it, when I think when things go, I got ta hit the ground running. So that’s what I’ve been doing. I appreciate you taking the time man that fan, and I mean I’m speaking to a world champion, so I’m humbled and thank you for taking the time man. I appreciate it appreciate you make and we got to do it again sometime in follow up yeah for sure, once you uh, when you when you win another belt I’ll, have you back on and when you write that book I’ll be the first one to buy it. I appreciate it man. Thank you all right man. Thank you.

Sergio Pineiro

Sergio Pineiro is the Founder of FighterPath.com and host of the Quarantinecast podcast. Based in Canada he is both a sports journalist and MMA enthusiast. He practices the sport but has a passion for the individual stories of training, fighting and living the fighting lifestyle.

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