Herring-Roach Final Press Conference

Herring Pulev
Photo: Stacey Verbeek

Under the bright lights, above where a pitcher’s mound normally stands, WBO junior lightweight champion Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring will enter the ring for the first time as a champion against Lamont Roach Jr. Saturday evening at Chukchansi Park in Fresno, California. In the 10-round co-feature, IBF #1 heavyweight Kubrat Pulev (27-1, 14 KOs) put his ranking on the line against Rydell Booker (26-2, 13 KOs). Pulev is angling for a shot at the winner of the Andy Ruiz Jr.-Anthony Joshua rematch. ESPN+ will televise.

At Thursday’s final press conference, this is what the fighters had to say.

Herring Roach Presser
Photo: Stacey Verbeek

Jamel Herring: “It’s all about what happens in the ring. All that will go in vain if I don’t play my part and perform to the best of my abilities and handle my business. It’s definitely great to be a Marine and basically be one of the only Marines on this type of platform. Of course, that’s a great feeling.”

Lamont Roach Jr: “We know Jamel is a crafty fighter, but we’re gonna bring it to him. I think I can do anything in the ring better than him. I can be a better, taller fighter than him even though I’m shorter than him. I can beat him on the inside, I can beat him all around the ring. So, we’re going to see.”

Pulev Booker Presser
Photo: Stacey Verbeek

Kubrat Pulev: “This is boxing. Nothing is sure, but I am here to fight, and I am here to win. That is why I prepared well, and I believe in myself. I know who I am. I’m one of the best in the heavyweight division. And, yeah, my opponent is good also, but I think I’m much, much better. For me, this is one fight and more experience. I must stay in the ring and wait to fight the winner of Joshua and Ruiz. Who wins, it doesn’t matter to me. I’m now concentrated on Booker. He’s a serious opponent.”

Rydell Booker: “This means a lot. Everyone understands my story. I went away to prison for 12 years. In two years home, I’ve been very active. This fight couldn’t have come at a better time because I was just in camp with {Oleksandr} Usyk when I got the call. I left Usyk’s camp and went to Deontay Wilder’s camp, and so I stayed busy. I get a lot of calls to go help the greats. I was just in camp with Anthony Joshua, learning something from him and vice versa. So I’ve been around the game 31 years, and I come to bring my experience and talents.”

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      • Gobert is a man of few words, and he is usually quite blunt :))

        Booker is old (almost 39) but so is Pulev (also 38). The difference is that Pulev has fought incomparably better opposition these past few years and he won all but one fight. He looked good in his last fights, is a top 10 heavyweight and is obviously the clear favorite.

        Booker had some good fights in his interrupted career. He is one of the last guys around who was in the ring with James Toney (who beat Booker by UD at that time). To call him “washed up” may be rude, but Booker certainly has his best boxing days behind him.

        No matter how one wants to turn it: anything but a Pulev win by KO would be a surprise. A Booker win would be the biggest upset since AJ lost to Ruiz.

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