Bob Arum never considered an opponent other than Jonathan Oquendo for Jamel Herring’s next fight.
Arum made sure that Oquendo will get the shot at Herring’s WBO junior lightweight title he was contracted to receive. Their fight was postponed twice in less than three weeks during June and July due to Herring’s COVID-19 issues, but it is back on.
Herring-Oquendo has been rescheduled again for September 5 at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas. ESPN will televise their 12-round, 130-pound title fight as the main event that night, two months after it first was supposed to take place.
“Oquendo doesn’t fight for us,” Arum, whose company promotes Herring, told BoxingScene.com. “He fights for Golden Boy [Promotions] and for [Miguel] Cotto [Promotions]. But it would be wrong to drop him for another opponent, not that we ever thought of that. That wouldn’t be right because Oquendo’s done nothing wrong. None of them have done anything wrong. The first thing that all our people realized is to do the right thing by the fighters, do the right thing by the public, do the right thing to the extent we’re able to do the right thing.”
Herring-Oquendo initially was scheduled for July 2. It was postponed June 23 because Herring tested positive for COVID-19 while training.
Their fight quickly was rescheduled for July 14. It was postponed again July 13, the day of their weigh-in, because Herring failed another COVID-19 test.
“Herring caught the coronavirus, and it seemed like it went away because he had a negative test,” Arum explained, referring to what happened following the first postponement. “And he still apparently had [COVID-19] particles. The doctor explained it to us, that even though he probably could no longer transmit the disease, the protocol is the protocol. A positive test is a positive test.”
Assuming their fight actually takes place September 5, Herring (21-2, 10 KOs) will make the second defense of the title the southpaw from Coram, New York, won in May 2019 by convincingly out-boxing Japan’s Masayuki Ito (26-2-1, 14 KOs). Puerto Rico’s Oquendo (31-6, 19 KOs) is rated 12th by the WBO in its 130-pound rankings.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.