If Jamel Herring handles his business Saturday night in Las Vegas, the WBO junior lightweight champion expects he’ll advance toward a higher-profile fight against Carl Frampton.

A Herring-Frampton fight could be scheduled for some time in November, according to what promoter Bob Arum told BoxingScene.com recently. Frampton and Herring hope to box before the end of this year, but Frampton realizes it’ll be an arduous task whenever he challenges Herring.

“It’s a difficult fight,” Frampton told BoxingScene.com. “I think his size and his height give me [the] most problems. But I feel like I’ve got the faster hands. I feel like I’ve got the better feet as well. I feel like people see our stature and think that I’m just gonna have to bull into Jamel Herring and have a fight with him.

“I don’t see it like that. I feel like with my distance, control and my feet and my hand speed, I feel like I can out-box him. There may be times in the fight where I’ll have to stand and have a fight. But I’m capable of doing that, too. It’s gonna be very difficult, but I’m confident I can beat him.”

Cincinnati’s Herring (21-2, 10 KOs) is listed as a 16-1 favorite over Oquendo (31-6, 19 KOs), the WBO’s 12th-ranked contender for Herring’s 130-pound championship.

“It’s not a bad fight,” Frampton said. “Oquendo is an OK fighter. He was once better than he is now, but it’s not a bad fight for Jamel. I think he wins the fight, and then hopefully that sets me and him up for a fight.”

Herring, 34, and Frampton, 33, were tentatively scheduled to meet June 13 at Windsor Park, an outdoor soccer stadium in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Frampton’s hometown. The COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancelation of that event.

Herring was supposed to oppose Puerto Rico’s Oquendo on July 2 at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas. Their main event was postponed until July 14 on June 23 because Herring tested positive for COVID-19.

Herring-Oquendo was delayed again July 13, when Herring failed another coronavirus test just before they were set to weigh in. ESPN+ will stream their 12-round title fight Saturday night as the headliner of a seven-bout card from MGM Grand Conference Center (7:30 p.m. ET; 4:30 p.m. PT).

Frampton (28-2, 16 KOs) stopped Scotland’s Darren Traynor (16-4, 7 KOs) in the seventh round of his last fight, August 15 at York Hall in London.

“I think the luck that I’ve had in the last sort of 12 months hasn’t been great,” Frampton said. “But if you wanna look at Jamel Herring’s run of luck, it’s probably been worse than mine, actually. You’ve gotta feel sorry for the guy. But hopefully, both our luck changes pretty soon, and we can get the fight on.” 

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.