Last month, combat veteran Sammy Vasquez did the army proud when he improved his perfect record to 21-0 with 15 KOs by defeating Aaron Martinez on the Danny Garcia vs. Robert Guerrero undercard. On Tuesday, February 9, lightweight Jamel Herring will represent the Marines when he takes on Columbia’s Luis Eduardo Flores at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The fight will be the main event on Toe-to-Toe Tuesday, broadcast on FS1 and Fox Deportes.
Herring started training in the sport in 2001, but for the first decade of his amateur career, he balanced his fighting in the ring alongside a career in the active-duty military. He served two tours in Iraq, including one in Fallujah in 2005. In 2011 and 2012 he won gold medals in the Armed Forces Game and he represented the United States in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Herring turned pro after the Olympics, with his career developing at a fairly slow pace. The best opponents he’s faced to date was 56-25-3 Hector Vasquez, an experienced, but far over-the-hill journeyman.
Eduardo is not really a step-up from Vasquez, though at 28, he’s a dozen years younger. The Columbian sports a 21-2 record, but 15 of his wins came against opponents with losing records and two more were against fighters making their debuts. He’s racked up wins over professional opponents with records of 1-29-1, 5-50-3, 1-10 and 0-7.
At 30, Herring is pretty long in the tooth for a boxing prospect. It’s frankly very tough to view him as a future champion. But his status as a Marine combat veteran makes him an extremely compelling figure and he’s unquestionably an accomplished fighter. So it’s nice to see him getting some television exposure, even on a lower-level card. The United States has spent a generation failing to pay adequate attention to the men and women who have gone into harm’s way for this country. Athletes like Herring put all their fellow veterans into the spotlight.