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  • Photo - Mikey Williams/ Top Rank

Jemel Herring Decisions Lamont Roach to Retain WBO Title

FRESNO, Calif. (Nov. 9, 2019) — Jamel "Semper Fi" Herring, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, retained his WBO junior lightweight world title with a Veterans Day Weekend unanimous decision (115-113 and 117-111 2X) win over top contender Lamont Roach Jr. in front of 7,412 fans at Chukchansi Park. Herring controlled the action early, but Roach landed a hellacious right hand at the end of the 11th that nearly sent Herring through the ropes. Roach pressed the action in the 12th, but it was too little, too late, as "The Fighting Marine" made his first successful title defense.

“I won {the title} on Memorial Day Weekend and I defended it on Veterans Day Weekend, so it definitely means a lot to all of our troops out there defending our country and still in harm’s way," Herring said. "This is for ya’ll. I couldn’t lose it on our weekend. It means a lot to still be a world champion. “Like I said, Miguel Berchelt is considered number one, the best super featherweight in the world. In order to be the best, you have to keep testing yourself.”

Said Roach: “We knew we had to dig down. When I hurt him, all that was on my mind was finishing him. I’m coming into unchartered territory.”

IBF No. 1 heavyweight contender Kubrat “The Cobra” Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs) had his way against Detroit-based veteran Rydell Booker (26-3, 13 KOs), winning a clear unanimous decision (99-91 and 98-92 2X) in the co-feature. Pulev, who challenged Wladimir Klitschko for the unified heavyweight title in November 2014, moved one step closer to potentially challenging the winner of the upcoming Andy Ruiz Jr.-Anthony Joshua rematch.

After the fight, his message was clear. He wants to fight for the title next. Pulev has now won eight in a row since the Klitschko defeat.

“It’s been eight months from my last fight. I think my opponent was not bad," Pulev said. "I respect him. It was a very nice fight. “I controlled the whole fight, and I was the much better boxer. I showed everyone I’m at the world level, and I must fight the winner of Joshua and Ruiz.”

Former world title challenger Amir Imam (22-2, 19 KOs) returned from a nearly two-year layoff, knocking out Marcos Mojica (16-5-2, 12 KOs) with a right hand in the fourth round of a scheduled eight-rounder. Imam hadn't fought since challenging Jose Ramirez for the vacant WBC super lightweight world title in March 2018.

"I just have to be consistent at this point in my career. I’m coming back in January, and I need to take advantage of the opportunities that are given to me," Imam said.

Gabriel Flores Jr. (16-0, 6 KOs), the 19-year-old sensation from Stockton, Calf., dominated Aelio Mesquita (19-5, 17 KOs) over the eight-round distance, winning by identical scores of 80-72 in a lightweight bout.

Janibek "Qazaq Style" Alimkhanuly (8-0, 4 KOs) successfully defended his WBO Global and WBC Continental Americas middleweight titles, stopping Albert Onolunose (24-3-1, 8 KOs) in the sixth round of a scheduled 10-rounder.

Two-time Cuban Olympic gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez (1-1, 1 KO) rebounded from the shocking loss in his pro debut to stop Fernando Ibarra (2-2, 0 KOs) in the sixth round of a featherweight title.

Undefeated middleweight contender Esquiva Falcao (25-0, 17 KOs) knocked out veteran Manny Woods (16-9-1, 6 KOs) in the third round.

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