Jamel Herring tests positive for coronavirus, WBO junior lightweight title defense rescheduled

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The summer boxing schedule took another hit on Tuesday with Jamel Herring’s announcement that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was now in self-isolation. Herring was scheduled to defend his WBO junior lightweight championship against Jonathan Oquendo on July 2.

“Last week, I tested positive for COVID-19. That’s the bad news,” Herring wrote on Twitter. “The good news however is, I feel ok and have self-isolated until I receive a clean bill of health. My WBO Junior Lightweight world title defense against Jonathan Oquendo will be rescheduled shortly. Semper Fi.”

Not long after Herring revealed the news, he informed Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated that the fight has been rescheduled to July 14, while Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told The Ring‘s Ryan O’Hara that the July 2 card could now see Jose Pedraza vs. Mikkel LesPierre serve as the┬ámain event. That fight was originally planned for June 18 but was postponed after LesPierre’s manager, Josie Taveras, tested positive for the coronavirus.

Herring (21-2, 10 KO) won his title in May 2019, taking a wide decision over Masayuki Ito. He successfully defended the title in November with a win over then-undefeated Lamont Roach. Following the win over Roach, the plan was for Herring to travel to Ireland to face off with Carl Frampton. That title fight was pushed off by the global pandemic, though Herring told ESPN he was still focused on a battle with Frampton later in the year.

“That’s still the No. 1 priority, for sure,” said Herring. “I’m still actually shocked from the latest story that I’ve seen, where he’s not willing to fight unless he’s fighting me. If it comes around the December time frame, he will have been out for like an entire year. But for me, I just want to stay as busy as much as possible. I’m not getting young as it is. So why risk coming into big fights with the ring rust on you still.”

Herring is a former United States Marine, serving two tours in Iraq. He was also a member of the 2012 Olympic team before turning professional later that year.

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