On September 5th, after two aborted fight dates due to testing positive for COVID-19 (both occasions), Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring finally steps in the ring with Jonathan Oquendo.
The fight against Oquendo (31-6, 19 KO’s) is regarded as a formality as all eyes are set for a blockbuster fight with Ireland’s former world champion Carl Frampton (27-2, 15 KO’s). Frampton himself is facing a ‘tune-up’ fight this Saturday with late substitute Darren Traynor. Both respective camps want this fight with a clash hoped for in September (stated by Bob Arum) but this seems unlikely with Herring fighting Oquendo on the 5th September.
“Jamel has had a run of bad luck, but his fortunes will change for the better inside the ‘Bubble’ on September 5th” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Oquendo is a crafty veteran who understands this may be his last shot at a world title, and I expect him to give ‘The Fighting Marine’ one heck of a fight.”
Herring said, “This postponement is a blessing in disguise because I feel 10 times better than I did three weeks ago. I’m grateful to have another opportunity to get back in the ring. I’ve fully recovered from COVID-19 and I’m more than ready for anything Jonathan Oquendo brings on September 5. Our team has a great game plan and we are eager to carry it out.”
Oquendo said, “I am very happy with finally getting this opportunity to challenge Herring for his world title, as the fight has been canceled twice because of COVID-19. At one point, I thought that maybe the fight was not going to happen, but thanks to God, we are now ready for September 5th.
He added, “We are going to win. We are in a very positive mindset. We are going to leave everything in the ring. It’s now or never. It would be a great accomplishment to become world champion at 37. That’s what we are going to do.”
The co-feature, a 10-round super middleweight battle pits unbeaten Steven “So Cold” Nelson taking on Toledo’s DeAndre Ware.
Nelson (16-0, 13 KO’s) is ranked No. 8 by the WBO, last fought in January, knocking out Cem Kilic. Ware’s record is (13-2-2, 8 KO’s).
Nelson said “I’ve been training and staying ready in Omaha with my team. Now it’s time to clock in for overtime. No audience? I don’t need cheers to do my job. I’m focused on the task at hand, which is to defeat DeAndre Ware.”
Both fights will stream live on ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET, with undercard action to stream on ESPN+ beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET.