Jamel Herring (KO 1) and Shurretta Metcalf (UD 10) Victorious in NYC


By David A. Avila

Hail the conquering hero as Jamel Herring returned to the boxing ring after more than a year and won by knockout, but a title match between highly ranked women was marred by poor judging on Tuesday.

Still, the action was entertaining.

After 17 months of retirement Herring (24-4, 12 KOs) returned and easily handled Nick Molina (13-1) in front of an energetic audience at Edison Ballroom, in Manhattan, New York on the DiBella Entertainment card.

As soon as the first bell rang Herring was firing razor-sharp jabs through Molina’s guard. Soon after, one-two combinations were connecting from the former super featherweight champion.

Herring had recently started working with trainer Wayne McCullough, a former world champion. Defense was their goal and perhaps that opened up a more balanced attack for the US Marine.

A one-two combination floored Molina within the first minute of the fight. He beat the count and the fight resumed. But blood smeared his face from his nose and mouth. The southpaw Herring moved in slightly more aggressive and soon connected with another one-two combination followed by another left. Down went Molina again. Referee Arthur Mercante looked over Molina carefully and waved the fight over at 2:49 of the first round. It was Herring’s 12th knockout win.

“I had to make a statement,” said Herring who seeks opportunities in Europe against some of the champions. “Everybody says I’m over the hill.”

Metcalf Wins

In a title match between bantamweight contenders the much taller Shurretta Metcalf (13-4-1, 2 KOs) won by unanimous decision over Japan’s Miyo Yoshida (16-4) in a 10-round match that appeared even to sway back and forth.

Not to the judges.

Metcalf used her height and reach to keep Yoshida at a distance in the opening bout. It was a good tactic as the Japanese fighter, a two-time world champion, gauged the distance of the Texas prizefighter.

In the third round Yoshida began connecting with overhand rights. She used feints to get inside and it was a tactic that worked. The blows were easy to score. The change in tactics seemed to work for the Japanese fighter who had many fans in the audience.

Both fighters changed strategies slightly with Metcalf changing from a counter-punching mode to a stick and move strategy. It stalled Yoshida from mounting an attack. A right uppercut worked for the Texas fighter while she stuck out jabs to keep Yoshida from countering.

Both fighters were unable to hurt the other and neither was able to dominate. The two-minute rounds further complicated the ability to score each round because they go so quickly.

Metcalf found success with uppercuts while Yoshida used overhand rights to score. After 10 rounds the judges scored it 99-91, 98-92 and 96-94. Two judges gave Yoshida only one or two rounds. Pretty bad scoring.

Though either fighter could have won, to see two judges barely give the Japanese fighter a round or two was unexplainable. Their scores reflect a match that would seem on paper to be dominated by Metcalf. It was a very close fight.

But Metcalf did her part. She performed well and could be in line to face IBF bantamweight titlist Ebanie Bridges should Bridges emerge victorious next month in San Francisco.

“I’ve been grinding for this my whole career,” said Metcalf who lives in Dallas, Texas. “If Ebanie (Bridges) wins that’s who I want.”

Other Bouts

Heavyweight Roney Hines (13-0-1) remained undefeated by out-scoring Jonathan Gruber (5-2) in a six-round fight. There were no knockdowns in the match.

Mikiah Kreps (7-0) pounded out a victory by decision over Isis Vargas (9-6) in an eight-round super bantamweight bout.

Photo credit: JP Yim
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