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Shakur Stevenson overwhelms Jamel Herring for 10th-round TKO to become new WBO junior lightweight champion

Shakur Stevenson (Getty Images)

In a sport packed with plenty of bright young and hungry stars, Shakur Stevenson is staking his claim to be the best of them all.

Stevenson overwhelmed Jamel Herring in a brilliant performance toward a 10th-round TKO to become the new WBO junior lightweight champion at State Farm Arena in Atlanta on Saturday night.

From the opening bell, the 24-year-old Stevenson (17-0, 9 KOs) asserted his superior hand speed over the 35-year-old Herring. What began as a jab — quite possibly the best jab in boxing — quickly turned into three and four-piece sharp combinations that Herring had zero answers for.

Making matters worse for Herring was the fact that Stevenson even beat him on the inside, demoralizing the seasoned fighter with stinging power shots at will. Stevenson sending Herring off balance with a blasting right hook in the sixth round would serve as a precursor for the 10th.

That's when the Newark, New Jersey product made the gash over Herring's right eye worse, prompting the referee to have a ringside doctor take a look 25 seconds into the frame. Shortly after action resumed, Stevenson wrapped a left hook around Herring's guard to the head and followed that with a right hook the other way. Then came a stiff right hand up the middle and the referee stepped in to stop the action, crowning Stevenson as the new WBO junior lightweight titleholder and two-division world champion.

Although Stevenson insisted that he and Herring weren't friends leading up to the fight, the new champ had a change of heart after the bout.

Meanwhile, Herring (23-3, 11 KOs) sounded like he'll contemplate retirement following the defeat.

Here's how the entire Stevenson-Herring main card went.

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Stevenson records 10th-round TKO

Herring now sporting a cut over his right eye as the round begins. Ref has a ringside doctor look at Herring's cut 25 seconds into the round. The doctor says Herring is fine to continue and action resumes. Stevenson making matters worse with clean, sharp punches that all land upstairs. Stevenson wraps a left hook around the guard and a right hook around the guard follows. Now a straight right hand up the middle and that's it. The ref steps in between the fighters for a rousing TKO.

Herring vs. Stevenson; Round 9

Stinging head shots from Stevenson right in the middle of the ring. These are sturdy power punches that Stevenson is absolutely sitting on. (10-9 Stevenson, 89-82 Stevenson)

Herring vs. Stevenson; Round 8

Another four-punch combination from Stevenson, although Herring did a good job with not absorbing much punishment while defending the ferocious output. Stevenson's jab may very well be the best jab in boxing. (10-9 Stevenson, 79-73 Stevenson)

Herring vs. Stevenson; Round 7

Stevenson has a 102-49 connect advantage halfway through. Lightning-quick combinations in the middle of the ring from Stevenson. The Newark, New Jersey fighter is standing in the pocket with Herring — where the champ wanted to be — and is getting the best of the older warrior with clean, quick punching. (10-9 Stevenson, 69-64 Stevenson)

Herring vs. Stevenson; Round 6

Herring comes out working behind the jab. But it isn't long before Stevenson connects with a mean two-piece combination. Right hook briefly sends Herring off balance. The champ never saw that shot coming. Another right hook — this one landing to the body of Herring, who is showing noticeable swelling under the right eye. (10-9 Stevenson, 59-55 Stevenson)

Herring vs. Stevenson; Round 5

Herring using the jab to step forward and attempt power shots but Stevenson comes storming back with head shots. Herring lands but Stevenson counters with the quickness. Herring lands a right and now connects to the body in his best string of offense this fight so far. Herring with enough impactful output to snag the round. (10-9 Herring, 49-46 Stevenson)

Herring vs. Stevenson; Round 4

Herring cutting off the ring well and trying to push Stevenson to his left. Herring now pumping his right jab. Stevenson pops Herring's head back with that stinging jab of his. A better round for the champ but not enough to take the frame. (10-9 Stevenson, 40-36 Stevenson)

Herring vs. Stevenson; Round 3

Four-punch combination followed by a three-punch combo from Stevenson. This is a clinic. Herring is trying to dig and fight back, taking steps forward and swinging. But Stevenson remains a step ahead. Both fighters standing their ground.

Things really intensified this round. Immediate advice in Herring's corner: "You got to push this motherf—er back." Easier said than done as Stevenson banks another round. (10-9 Stevenson, 30-27 Stevenson)

Herring vs. Stevenson; Round 2

Stevenson touches with a jab to the body and again lands that crisp left hand. His speed is a huge problem for Herring, who eats a multiple-punch combination seconds later. Stevenson is way too fast for Herring. He's landing his left hand at will, stinging Herring who is 11 years older than the young star. One-two punctuated with a left hand to the temple. Tempted to give Stevenson a 10-8 round there, honestly. (10-9 Stevenson, 20-18 Stevenson)

Herring vs. Stevenson; Round 1

Stevenson digs a jab into the midsection and already is showing his superior hand speed. Body shot with the right hand followed by a left upstairs. Right to the body and left across the face from Stevenson moments later. (10-9 Stevenson)

The champ is here

WBO junior lightweight champion Jamel Herring being led out by Jadakiss performing "We Gonna Make It."

Here comes Stevenson

Quavo leading Stevenson out to "Straightenin." Stevenson looking loose yet supremely focused.

Main event time

Quavo from the Migos is in Stevenson's locker room, while Jadakiss is in Herring's room — both artists ready to lead their ring walks.

Stars in the building

Fourth-round TKO win for Zayas

Karpency's corner has seen enough and ends it following the fourth round. Wow is Zayas impressive. At 19-years-old, he seemingly already has all the skills and tools fit to be king of the sweet science. Scary. Xander Zayas improves to 11-0 with 8 knockouts.

All Zayas through three

Sharp output from Zayas, especially during the waning seconds of the third round where he sent Karpency's mouthpiece flying out courtesy of a crunching uppercut.

Co-main event: Xander Zayas vs. Dan Karpency on deck

Zayas is one of boxing's top prospects and this is his latest test — a six-round fight. Let's see how he fares.

Ali Walsh with another victory

Ali Walsh scored a big knockdown with a thudding right hand in the second round and then dropped James Westley II with another right in the third. As the ref was giving Wesley the standing-eight count, his corner threw in the towel toward a TKO win for Ali Walsh. Make it 2-0 for Ali Walsh.

Nico Ali Walsh opens the main card

He is the grandson of boxing GOAT and global sports icon, the late Muhammad Ali.

Terence Crawford talks about the unease watching friends Herring and Stevenson fight

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