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Jamel Herring tests positive to coronavirus, title defence off

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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WBO super featherweight champion Jamel Herring 21-2 (10) won’t be fighting next month after testing positive to the coronavirus.

The 34-year-old American was due to face Jonathan Oquendo 31-6 (19) in his second world title defence in a Top Rank main event at ‘The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 2.

“Last week, I tested positive for COVID-19. That’s the bad news,” Herring said in a statement.

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“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.”

Last week the junior welterweight contest between Jose Pedraza and Mikkel LesPierre needed to be postponed after LesPierre’s manager Jose Tavares tested positive for the coronavirus.

Top Rank chairman Bob Arum told The Ring that the Pedraza-LesPierre fight could be rescheduled to replace Herring-Oquendo.

“We’re thinking about getting the Pedraza fight back on (the card),” Arum said. “Then we’ll look into getting Jamel back on later in the month.”

Arum praised Herring for getting himself tested early.

“Jamel very responsibly tested for coronavirus when he was training, came down with coronavirus, and that enabled us to postpone his fight and put another in its place,” he said.

“We’re dealing with a situation that none of us have dealt with before, and we’re trying to deal with it as intelligently and safely as possible.”

The card is expected to go ahead with a junior lightweight contest between Albert Bell 16-0 (5) and Mark Bernaldez 20-3 (14) and a featherweight bout between Robeisy Ramirez 3-1 (3) and Adan Gonzalez 5-2-2 (2) in a rematch of the two-time Cuban Olympic gold medallist’s only professional loss.

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