As mentioned earlier, WBO junior lightweight titleholder Jamel Herring tested positive for COVID-19, and has had his scheduled July 2 title defense against Jonathan Oquendo pushed back.
On tonight’s ESPN broadcast of live fights from Vegas, Herring (21-2, 10 KO) confirmed that the current plan is to have that fight on July 14 now, just 12 days after the original date, and that he’s doing well in quarantine.
“I was pretty much at the stages of my body sweating it out, pretty much at the end of it. But to be on the safe side, I immediately quarantined myself and stayed away from everyone,” Herring said.
Herring, 34, was training as usual at Brian McIntyre’s gym, also home to WBO welterweight titleholder Terence “Bud” Crawford, and said that others in the gym have tested negative for the virus.
“Brian McIntyre immediately shut down the gym for everyone’s safety,” Herring said. “The gym is getting sprayed down to make sure everything is clean. Everyone has gotten tested, and for the most part, everyone’s results have come back negative. We’re taking this matter seriously. Right now we’re just focused on how I’m feeling and doing, and everyone’s glad to see I’m feeling like the old Jamel again.”
The fight with Oquendo (31-6, 19 KO) was set to be the first “real” world title fight on the Top Rank Summer Series schedule on ESPN, and still will be if it takes place as now planned.
“I’ve been told July 14 is the new fight date. We took care of the situation quickly. I was responsible, we all reported to Top Rank and ESPN about the situation,” Herring said. “I didn’t want to wait until I got to Vegas the week of the fight and have something pop up positive. We took it on ourselves to get tested early.
“Luckily, with me fighting the virus off, I was fortunate enough to get a quicker fight date. I’m happy about that, but right now my main job is to continue resting, continuing doing the right things.”
ESPN also confirmed this evening that two other COVID-canceled bouts — Mikaela Mayer vs Helen Joseph and Jose Pedraza vs Mikkel LesPierre — do have new dates. Pedraza-LesPierre will take place July 2, the old Herring-Oquendo date, and Mayer-Joseph will share the stage with Herring-Oquendo on July 14.