The scores were 117-111 twice and 115-113.
It was a closely fought encounter through the first 10 rounds but the champion finished strongly in rounds 11 and 12 to take the decision.
Herring, who was making the first defence of his belt, improved his record to 21-2; 10 and Roachs record dropped to 19-1-1; 7.
Former WBA secondary heavyweight champion Lucas Big Daddy Browne (29-2; 25) won on a second-round stoppage over John Hopoate (12-7; 11) at the St Marys Band Club, New South Wales, Australia on Saturday. The time was 2 minutes 55 seconds.
Hopoate was knocked down twice in the opening round and landed with some stiff punches early in the second before Browne sent him reeling with a barrage of punches that left him stunned, and the referee waved the fight off.
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