Top Rank’s Bob Arum claimed last week that WBO super featherweight champ Jamel Herring and interim champ Shakur Stevenson were “close to a deal” to meet on November 13th. It seems he may have been overly optimistic, as the WBO has scheduled an August 9th purse bid with a $150,000 minimum.
Interestingly, Stevenson (16-0, 8 KO) would actually get the lion’s share of the winning bid despite having the lesser title. Per WBO regulations, when two titlists in the same division go to a purse bid, split is determined “using a ratio based upon the average purse of each fighter’s last three (3) fights.” As such the former Olympian would be on the right side of a 63/37 distribution.
Herring (23-2, 11 KO) has managed just three defenses since taking the belt from Masayuki Ito in 2019, running into misfortune after misfortune outside the ring and underperforming against Jonathan Oquendo. Despite this, he turned in a career-defining performance against Carl Frampton in April, battering the durable Irishman en route to a sixth-round stoppage.
Stevenson, who became the number-one contender after vacating his featherweight belt without a defense, had to step aside to let that long-brewing matchup happen and thus was contractually guaranteed a shot at the winner. He was last seen beating the man he leapfrogged in the rankings, Jeremiah Nakathila, by one-sided decision.
Time to find out if Top Rank can get all its ducks in a row or whether the free market will decide this matchup’s face.