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Jackson Jon England edges Jamel Herring by split decision in Adelaide


Junior lightweight Jackson Jon England (16-3, 8 KOs) claimed the biggest win of his career when he outpointed former WBO 130-pound titleholder Jamel Herring (24-5, 12 KOs) over 10 rounds at the 36ers Arena in Adelaide, Australia on Wednesday night.

The fight was something of a chess match with Perth’s England, 26, looking to apply smart pressure throughout the contest without falling into any of the 38-year-old American southpaw’s veteran traps.

The pattern of the fight was set from the opening bell, with England stalking while Herring circled the perimeter of the ring. The rangy visitor looked relaxed despite the long flight to Australia, pot-shotting England from range while he boxed at a comfortable pace.

Herring started the third well with a stiff one-two that momentarily halted England in his tracks, but the local credit kept pressing and landed a clean right hand of his own just before the bell.

In the fourth round both boxers had moments of success – Herring with the left cross and Jackson with the left hook – while referee Ignatius Missailidis warned both boxers to watch their heads in close.

It was obvious by this stage that the fight was a battle of wills to see who could break the other mentally first.

England switched southpaw for a spell in the fifth in a bid to break the rhythm of his opponent. It did little to dissuade the experienced Herring, who was able to land the sharper, cleaner shots while England continued to press, using feints to close the distance.

England upped the tempo to start the sixth but the fight soon settled into a familiar rhythm. The seventh and eighth we closely contested again with a lot of lateral movement but not a lot of leather landing.

With the fight seemingly hanging in the balance, England came out much more aggressively in the ninth but paid the price for his recklessness. As the pair moved in to trade punches, an accidental clash of heads opened up old scar tissue over England’s right eye, a damage originally sustained in his close points defeat to Liam Wilson in December.

The blood didn’t deter England, who showed a real sense of urgency to pinch the round with his work rate and aggression.

The 10th and final round saw Herring picking and poking with the cleaner, sharper shots to close out a very closely contested contest.

In a hard fight to score, it came down to the style that you preferred. The two Australian judges, Phil Austin and Chris Condon, both scored the bout 96-94 for England. American judge Robert Hoyle saw it the other way 97-93 for Herring.

“It means the world to me,” said England after the victory.

“To be here, to fight in Adelaide in front of a beautiful crowd and share the ring with such an amazing guy like Jamel Herring, he’s someone who I aspired to, someone who I looked up to be able to become world champion.

“To be able to fight him, he’s a phenomenal fighter and we had such a phenomenal fight. Being in there with him, it was a bit surreal because I’ve seen him fight for years. To be able to share it with him is a dream come true, it’s amazing.”

Before the fight, Herring told The Ring that he viewed the England fight as a springboard back to world title contention.

“I’m viewing this fight as my ticket back into the world title picture, especially knowing that Liam Wilson fought over the weekend, fought this guy in December, and got a shot at (Oscar) Valdez in the end,” Herring said on Sunday.

“That’s all the motivation I need, especially since I’ve been chasing Valdez since I was a champion, but I can’t think of that right now.”

That wasn’t to be, but Herring proved he still has enough left in the tank to provide a stern challenge to any up and coming junior lightweight prospect or contender.

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