It might make more sense to bring a Jamel Herring-Carl Frampton fight to Belfast if fans can attend boxing events in the United Kingdom before they can come to fights in the United States.
Herring remains willing to face Frampton in the challenger’s hometown if that turns out to be the case because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If that’s what the team wants to do, as long as it makes sense, I’ll go over there,” Herring told BoxingScene.com. “But from what I’ve been hearing, I know Bob [Arum] has been targeting sometime in November, maybe in Las Vegas. But that stuff is out of my control. I’ll fight him wherever the fight’s at. We just have to sit down and see where it goes.”
Before shifting his attention to the Frampton fight, Cincinnati’s Herring (21-2, 10 KOs) must beat Puerto Rico’s Jonathan Oquendo (31-6, 19 KOs) in an optional defense of his WBO junior lightweight title Saturday night in Las Vegas. Their 12-round, 130-pound championship match will headline an eight-bout card ESPN+ will stream from MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, starting at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT.
Arum’s promotional company, Top Rank Inc., has held all of its U.S. cards at MGM Grand Conference Center since June 9. Coronavirus restrictions have prevented fans from attending any of those events.
Herring-Oquendo has been postponed twice since late in June because Herring tested positive for COVID-19.
Herring was supposed to defend his title against Frampton on June 13 at Windsor Park, an outdoor soccer stadium in Belfast, Frampton’s hometown. Their fight was postponed due to the coronavirus crisis.
The 33-year-old Frampton (28-2, 16 KOs) did his part to secure a shot at Herring when he stopped Scotland’s Darren Traynor (16-4, 7 KOs) in the seventh round of their scheduled 10-round lightweight bout August 15 at York Hall in London.
Frampton, a former junior featherweight and featherweight champion, is the sixth-ranked contender for Herring’s title. He told BoxingScene.com recently that he would be just as willing to return to the U.S. to challenge Herring as he would be to fight him in Belfast or elsewhere in the UK.
“The UK has a tremendous atmosphere for all fights, but especially big fights,” Herring said. “We’ll just have to wait and see. Right now, I just have to focus on Oquendo and getting the job done, before we can look ahead.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.