Prince George’s Sentinel (Posted Dec. 5, 2019)
Fresno – Washington, DC native, Lamont Roach Jr came out on the losing end of his first world championship fight with a unanimous decision lost to Marine veteran Jamel Herring, making the first defense of his World Boxing Organization Junior Lightweight title in Fresno, California at Chukchansi Park, the AAA home of the Washington Nationals farm team.
Herring, 34, improved his record to 21-2. In the early rounds, Herring kept Roach (19-1-1) at the end of his jab and worked the body to win the early rounds of the fight. Roach, a natural counter puncher, had trouble getting the distance needed to counter Herrings 3-inch reach advantage and was unable to mount much of an attack.
In the middle rounds, Roach’s corner screamed at him to get closer and stop giving the judges the chance to give the rounds to Herring. “I was not able to let my hands go as much as my corner wanted me to,” says Roach. “He’s tall and awkward and very elusive, but when I was throwing my hands, it was not that hard to hit him.”
That’s what Roach began to do in the middle rounds. He closed the distance and initiated the action by beating Herring to the punch. Roach’s new aggression also closed the gap in the scoring. The judges scored the fight 117-111, twice and 115-113, for Herring. The 117-111 scores surprised a lot of ringside observers. The 115-113 was more in line with most observers.
In the 11 th round, Roach caught Herring with a looping right that he never saw and buckled his knees. The problem was there were just a few seconds left in the round and Herring was able to survive. Roach also won the final round. “When I hurt him, all that was on my mind was finishing him…. because I was coming into uncharted territory,” says Roach. “If I had picked it up a little earlier, I would have knocked him out.” This fight was dedicated to Roach’s cousin, “Boogalo” Roach, his trainer, who passed away. “I know my cousin is looking down and is proud of me. We put on a good show and I’ll be back.” Roach was trying to bring another championship belt to the DMV. He had not fought in 189 days. A string of wins will put Roach back into the championship conversation.