Herring vs. Oquendo Bout Off Following Positive COVID-19 Test

A positive test for WBO super featherweight champion Jamel Herring for the COVID 19 virus has forced the cancellation of his main event fight against #11 WBO Jonathan Oquendo for Tuesday at The Bubble at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Herring (21-2, 10 KOs) came up positive today, and he was immediately removed from the card by his promoters at Top Rank.

Herring, 34, was looking forward to this showcase fight against the 36-year-old Oquendo. Although the fight was to take place behind closed doors without fans, it was still a great opportunity for Herring to get a lot of visibility on ESPN from boxing fans, who don’t have a lot of options to watch the sport due to the pandemic.

Top Rank is pretty much the only game in town for boxing in the U.S right now, and Herring lost out on his chance to be seen.

Top Rank will need to take a wait and see approach before looking to reschedule the Herring vs. Oquendo fight if that’s what they want to do. Herring has a lot better options than Oquendo, though. It might be better for Herring and Top Rank to move on towards a bigger fight.

Carl Frampton and Shakur Stevenson are both interested in fighting for a world title, and towards the end of the year, one of them against Herring would be a massive fight. Oquendo was more of a stay busy fight for Herring, and it’s less important.

The ESPN and ESPN Deportes televised card will still go on with Mikaela Mayer taking on Helen Joseph in women’s super featherweight action in the headliner spot at 9 p.m. ET.

Herring’s statement:

“I’m extremely disappointed that I’m not going to be able to fight tomorrow night. As I’ve shared previously, I tested positive for COVID-19 on June 22 after exhibiting symptoms.

“I quarantined and recovered as directed by my doctor. I then retested on July 3 and my test was negative, so this result is a complete surprise. I was fully prepared to make my second title defense tomorrow night. I am hoping that my team and Top Rank can reschedule this fight soon.

“Thank you for all the support everyone has shown. I can’t wait to get back in the ring and perform.”

Luis Melendez also tested positive for COVID 19, so he’s off the card as well. Melendez was supposed to fight Eddie Vazquez.

The remainder of the card will take place as scheduled, but it’s not going to be the same without Herring and Oquendo.

These are the undercard fights for Tuesday on ESPN:

  • Clay Collard vs. Lorawnt-T Nelson, 6 Rounds, Middleweight
  • Ruben Cervera vs. Clay Burns, 6 Rounds, Lightweight
  • Javier Martinez (Pro Debut) vs. Jonathan Burrs, 4 Rounds, Middleweight