"I understand I got a responsibility to uphold, it's not a game, and I have been given a golden opportunity and I'm not gonna let it go to waste or blow my chance. A lot of people, if you read, a lot of people think when you sign with Al Haymon, they are gonna baby you and this and that and the third. There is always a good side to it and there is always a bad side to it, but I'm just taking things day by day, going to the gym and focusing on what's to come and just preparing myself for this ride," stated 2012 U.S. Olympian Jamel Herring, who talked about his recent signing with prominent adviser Al Haymon and his upcoming professional debut. Check it out!
PC: How is everything going Mel?
JH: Everything has been going great, man. I'm feeling good and I'm happy where I'm at, so everything is good on my end.
PC: Before we even talk about your pro career, the Olympics obviously didn't go as Team USA had planned, and we have heard a number of reasons why. If you had to pinpoint one reason why you guys didn't have as much success as expected, what would it be?
JH: The main thing I point at is they didn't give us enough time to prepare at all for the Olympics; at all. We only had about 2 weeks to train out in Colorado Springs and then another 2 weeks out there before the games even started. Everybody knows that that's not enough time to compete in the Olympics in any sport. Plus, we were having a hard time getting the coaching staff together as well.
PC: That's definitely not enough time, especially when the other country's competitors are basically pros and have been training for 4 years for that moment.
PC: What weight class do you plan on competing at?
JH: I have to talk more with my coach Mike Stafford, but right now, we are focusing on 35 for sure. We know if we need to make it happen, 130 is possible, but right now, we are concentrating on 135.
PC: Do you feel your style is better suited for the pros or is that a work in progress for you still?
JH: Right now, honestly, I wouldn't say so. A lot of people tell me that, but this is the reason why I wanted to work with Mike Stafford as my trainer because I felt I needed to work with somebody that will basically mold me into that professional style so I can leave all of that amateur stuff in the past. That's why I changed my coach to begin with. A lot of people have said that I have more of a pro style, but I feel I can do better with more technique and that's why I'm working with a technician.
PC: As far as the sport of boxing itself, how much did the military prepare you as far as the discipline that goes along with that and conditioning?
JH: It helped me in a big way, especially dealing with the Olympic Team and being the co-captain, it played a big role and helped me deal with the different personalities on my team very well. So being in the military has benefited me, especially on the flip-side in terms of being in the ring and everything, and learning how to adapt to other coaching. It all played out well. I had a great time dealing with the team and the staff. But like I said earlier, we just didn't have enough time to prepare.
PC: Mike Stafford is a great trainer, mostly known for his work with Adrien Broner. I know you have been spending some time with Adrien. What tips and pointers has he been giving you about the pro ranks?
JH: Me and Adrien had a good heart to heart talk, last night actually, and he was just telling me how you gotta respect the game and its business. He was telling me even dealing with AlÂ…I'm very happy to be working with Al, but like he said, now I gotta perform. He said I can't just go out there and be mediocre. I have to put 110% into every fight that I'm placed in. So he has been very supportive and he's been showing me the ropes. I been with him a lot since I been here in Cincinnati and just learning things from him in the gym, or even just talking, you know, about things in and outside of the gym. He has just been real and offering good help.
PC: You did sign with Al Haymon, along with a lot of other Olympians. What does it mean to you to sign with one of the most prominent advisors in the game?
JH: It's a blessing, especially for the fact of how everything went down at the Olympics. We all know everybody was counting all of us out, especially me out, but I felt that Al seen something different in me and he gave me the opportunity to change everything that went on in the past. He can turn my future into gold. But at the same time, I understand I got a responsibility to uphold, it's not a game, and I have been given a golden opportunity and I'm not gonna let it go to waste or blow my chance. A lot of people, if you read, a lot of people think when you sign with Al Haymon, they are gonna baby you and this and that and the third. There is always a good side to it and there is always a bad side to it, but I'm just taking things day by day, going to the gym and focusing on what's to come and just preparing myself for this ride.
PC: When can we expect the debut?
JH: It's gonna be right before 2013 from what I was told. Right now, Al is putting together a card on November 9th featuring Gary Russell in the main event and it's gonna be called "The Night of the Olympians" from what I'm being told, and most of the guys who was signed with Al will be on that card also. I won't be on that card because me and Mike had a heart to heart conversation also and I just started training with Mike Stafford and we feel he needs a little more time with me before he push me out there in the pro ranks, so we can get used to how each other work and get chemistry together, and I respect that. So I won't be on the November card, but I was told that Al gonna have another card in mid-December on the 14th or 15th and I will be on that card and some of the other Olympians will be on that card as well. I was told that Raynell Williams will make his debut on that card as well, so right before the New Year starts, most of us will at least be done got one fight in.
PC: I wish the best of luck to you and your career. We will definitely be in touch. Is there anything you want to say in closing my man?
JH: I just want to thank everybody for still supporting me and being part of the team and follow me on Twitter @jamelherring!
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]