Jamel Herring hoped to neutralize 135-pound rival Denis Shafikov with his boxing ability and five-inch height advantage Saturday night. Shafikov dashed those hopes swiftly and decisively.
Jamel Herring has watched video of Denis Shafikov’s two losses, both of which came against taller, rangier opponents whose dimensions are similar to his own.
Robert Easter Jr. and former champion Adrien Broner did it before scoring knockouts on the same April 1 card. It also worked for Rau’shee Warren in advance of his 118-pound title-winning victory earlier this month.
Like most fighters, Jamel Herring eased into his career by facing opponents with limited professional experience. Over his last few bouts, though, the 2012 U.S. Olympian has stepped up the competition as he has moved into boxing's fast lane, and now he’s about to push the pedal to the metal.
Turns out your girlfriend was lying: Size does matter. At least in the sport of boxing, where it pays to have arms as long as your opponent’s legs, especially when you’re trying to fend off a dude coming at you like a bowling ball destined for a strike.
Rances Barthelemy ready to put his skills to the test in 135-pound title fight against Denis Shafikov
A long piece of masking tape lines the floor, smudged in places from errant feet producing errant fists. You don’t want to step on the thing, and Rances Barthelemy never does, his shoes crisscrossing the partition without ever touching it. Back and forth his feet go, and where they land, his punches follow, fired in the direction his toes are pointed. This is the symmetry of knocking dudes stiff.
Music blares, but the man in the ring is dancing to a beat of his own, the rhythmic thwack of fist to mitt the percussion that soundtracks his movements.