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“Not really too happy, but I’ll keep my head up as team captain,” Herring said. “If I’m down, then my team is down. It hurts, but I’m glad I was able to come here, put on a USA uniform and represent my country. I believe I did to the best of my ability. He was just the better man today. It’s not the end of the world.”

After the Olympics, Herring will return to his home near Camp Lejeune, N.C., but hasn’t decided whether he’ll re-enlist with the Marines in a few months. He is considering a pro career, although the financial rewards for a 26-year-old light welterweight might not be stellar, even with an Olympic pedigree.

And even with the sting of his Olympic loss still fresh, Herring immediately raised the prospect he might stay in the amateur ranks for four more years of fighting for his country.

“I know in my heart that I did the best I could,” he said. “The people at home told me, no matter the result, I am still a hero, I am still a champion, and I’m going to take that confidence and uplift myself. It’s not the end of the world. People bounce back. A lot of great champions took losses and they came back, so why can’t I?”