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Herring vs. Oquendo's WBO Title Match Postponed Due to Positive COVID-19 Test

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJuly 13, 2020

Jamel Herring keeps Juan Pablo Sanchez on the ropes during their lightweight boxing bout Saturday, May 12, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen)
Kevin Hagen/Associated Press

The fight between Jamel Herring and Jonathan Oquendo has been postponed again.

Steve Kim of ESPN reported the news, noting the WBO junior lightweight title bout was initially scheduled for July 2 but pushed back to July 14 when Herring tested positive for COVID-19. Herring confirmed he tested positive for COVID-19 again Sunday, resulting in the second postponement.

He said he tested negative while in Omaha and entered the bubble in Las Vegas but then found out on Monday that another test he took Sunday came back as positive.

Jamel Herring @JamelHerring

These test are 30% faulty... Here’s clearly my timeline of when I contracted the virus, til the time I came back negative. I even woke up today on weight, ready to go, and even took an antibody test this morning to prove I’m fine, but the commission didn’t want to risk it. https://t.co/7Mv3ex0jbo https://t.co/pItpOwq0rA

Sam Gordon of the Las Vegas Review-Journal noted the fight between junior lightweights Mikaela Mayer (12-0, five KOs) and Helen Joseph (17-4-2, 10 KOs) will serve as the new main event. Their fight was originally scheduled for June 9 but was pushed back when Mayer tested positive.

What's more, the bout between Luis Melendez and Edward Vazquez scheduled for Tuesday's card was canceled because Melendez tested positive.

A source from Top Rank told Kim the organization is changing how it reschedules fights that are impacted by COVID-19 as a result of these developments.

"After talking to doctors and infectious disease specialists, our new guideline will not be to reschedule for sooner than six weeks after a positive test," the source said.

As for Herring (21-2, 10 KOs), he said, "I feel great, I had the best [weight] cut ever. I was actually on weight days ago."

However, he will have to wait once again to fight Oquendo (31-6, 19 KOs) in a bout that could set up a showdown with two-division champion Carl Frampton. Herring defended his world title last May against Masayuki Ito and was lined up for a second title defense against Oquendo prior to the delays.

"I'm actually more bummed out about this for my team because we put in so much work," Herring said. "We even had the extra weeks for the fight after the original date. The main thing is I took time away from my family. But I'm more upset for the people around me. But I feel great."

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