Jamel Herring [22(10)-2(1)] ]suggests he won’t be drawn into a war of words with Carl Frampton [28(16)-2(0]].
Since November 2019, when a world title fight between the pair was first muted, mutual respect has been apparent.
However, in recent weeks and with their February 27 WBO super featherweight fast approaching tensions have crept into the build-up.
The Belfast fighter suggested the world champion was starting to get sensitive, picking up on anything said about the fight.
Possibly aware, the former two-weight champion can use bad blood as fuel going into big fights, the titleholder has moved to distance himself from any verbal sparring.
Indeed, Herring now seems to be taking a kill Frampton with a kindness approach.
“Of course he’s the best I’ve fought and that’s why I wanted this fight – it looks great on my record,” he told the Irish News.
“I give him that and I’ve never disrespected the man. I don’t take the route that him and Frank Warren do when they give all these interviews talking crazy. I give him his credit, I pay my respects and he has done a hell of a job in his career,” he adds before slipping in a sly jibe.
“But super-featherweight could be the wrong weight class for him. Anyway, all the talk will stop on September 27 and we’ll see how it goes then.”
Former super bantamweight and featherweight world titleholder Frampton has questioned why ‘Semper Fi’ has been so keen to share he is sparring with pound-for-pound star Terence Crawford.
The Jamie Moore trained fighter doesn’t think sparring a welterweight southpaw bears any relevance to a fight with him.
Herring claims being in with such a talent is a ‘huge plus’ and assures he has been sparring fighters of the Belfast man’s stature.
“Sparring with Terence Crawford is a huge plus because he brings a lot of experience and he’s definitely a lot stronger and more physical than Carl Frampton,” he says.
“But we’ve been focussing on guys of his stature and it shouldn’t be much of an issue at all. It all boils down to who brings their ‘A’ game.”
Not long after Frampton was ridding himself of some rust with victory over Darren Traynor in August of last year, Herring was made a successful second defence of the WBO title.
Despite dropping Jonathan Oquendo before the Puerto Rican was disqualified, the champion was visibly upset with his display post-fight.
He warns Team Frampton against reading into his demanour straight after that win or indeed that performance, promising he will be much better in just over two weeks time.
“I gave my performance a C-,” he said.
“People failed to realise that I was going through Covid, I came back with a negative test but it fatigues you and drains you and I was still flushing the virus out of my system and I was training from April until September because the fight kept getting pushed back over and over again. So I had to keep restarting training camp and that does a lot of wear and tear on you.
“But it’s behind me now and look at the end result. The guy was fighting dirty and I was winning the fight on all the judges’ cards but he was fighting dirty
“I don’t look back on it but I hope they think the same Jamel Herring’s going to come in for this fight because that’s how they over-look you.”