Jamel Herring has done a lot in his life as both a boxer and as a member of the Marine Corps, but now his boxing and military life will come together when he dons a broadcasting headset.
When Ring City USA heads to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point on April 22, Herring will appear as a broadcaster, lending his expertise when the boxing series makes its latest stop. For Herring, it will be a first as he’ll get to call fights instead of actually being in the ring as a fighter, where he’s been successful in winning a world title and defending it multiple times.
The current WBO super featherweight champion took some time to talk to the media about his announcing gig for the upcoming event and spoke about the preparations that come with broadcasting compared to being in training camp. Herring noted that it’s a different process getting to study up on different fighters and know more about their upbringing and abilities, something that he enjoys.
For Herring, who is never one to shy away from giving his opinion on many different topics in boxing, he enjoys the prep work that comes with broadcasting as it all comes back to his love for the sport.
“It’s definitely different because, for the most part, in camp, you know yourself and you know what to expect going into training camp. All week, I’ve been looking at my notes, studying up on the fighters themselves, their backgrounds and where they’re coming from. So it’s like a different aspect, but it’s fun because you learn something new with each fighter. Commentators also get a chance to see fighters grow throughout their careers and I think that’s another fun aspect. It’s definitely different, but not so much because if you enjoy this sport and what it is, you easily can grasp it,” Herring said.
Ring City USA is known to bring in active fighters as broadcasters, with former welterweight champion Shawn Porter and current WBA minimumweight champion Seniesa Estrada, having done commentary work this year for the series. Herring even credits Porter as inspiration for him to try out broadcasting, noting how well both Porter and Estrada have done in their respective roles earlier this year.
“I’ve known both Seniesa and Shawn [for some time] and I’ve been watching Shawn, who actually motivated me to get into this myself especially being an active fighter. Seniesa did a great job, especially giving opinions coming from a woman’s aspect. She’s very knowledgeable about the sport. I was actually really impressed with how she carried herself throughout the broadcast. I always speak with fighters in general because they may see things that I may not see myself. They may look at things differently than I do. It’s always great picking each other’s knowledge. Shawn’s really picked it up quickly. It comes natural to Shawn and that’s what I like having Shawn on board with his opinion as an active fighter. He can relate with a lot of what’s going on television,” Herring said.
The April 22 Ring City USA main card, televised on NBC Sports Network, will feature WBA featherweight champion Jelena Mrdjenovich defending her title against Erika Cruz. Although the broadcast will feature a number of quality fights from the paid ranks, the undercard, streaming on Twitch, will feature West Point cadets in action in amateur bouts.
Having served two tours of duty in Iraq as a proud member of the United States Marine Corps, Herring hopes to see the cadets bring out their best when they step into the ring. Herring knows what those young fighters have to go through, having walked in their shoes before, and isn’t going to go easy when evaluating their respective performances.
“As a Marine Corps Sgt., I’m going to be very hard on them. I expect nothing but the best effort from them. I know what it takes to get to that level, not even just in the Marines but in the military in general. We always felt like we had to perform to our best. A lot of people don’t see it, but in the amateur circuit, we had a target on our backs because some felt like we were privileged and we had a free ride going to those national tournaments. In order for you to get to that level on any of the armed forces branch’s teams, you have to be the best of your branch. I don’t expect anything less than what we will see on [April 22]. I’m just happy for them and hope they take it possibly as far as they want to take it,” Herring said.
The April 22 Ring City USA card will be televised on NBC Sports Network at 9 p.m. ET with Jelena Mrdjenovich vs. Erika Cruz for the WBA featherweight title in the main event.
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pN7oMan6ywY