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Jamel Herring title defence cancelled after testing positive to COVID-19 for a second time

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 ‘Semper Fi’ Herring 21-2 (10) will no longer make the second defence of his title against Jonathan ‘Polvo’ Oquendo 31-6 (19) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada after testing positive for COVID-19 for the second time.

The fight was scheduled to headline Top Rank’s show live on ESPN at the quarantine facility known as ‘The Bubble’.

The 34-year-old southpaw, who won the WBO belt against Masayuki Ito in May last year and successfully defended against Lamont Roach six months later, is understandably shattered by the result.

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“I’m extremely disappointed that I’m not going to be able to fight tomorrow night,” Herring said in a statement.

“As I’ve shared previously, I tested positive for COVID-19 on June 22nd after exhibiting symptoms. I quarantined and recovered as directed by my doctor.

“I then retested on July 3rd and my test was negative, so this result is a complete surprise.

“I was fully prepared to make my second title defence tomorrow night. I am hoping that my team and Top Rank can reschedule this fight soon.

“Thank you for all the support everyone has shown. I can’t wait to get back in the ring and perform.”

In addition, the Luis Melendez vs Eddie Vazquez bout has also been cancelled due to Melendez testing positive for COVID-19.

The card will still proceed headlined by the highly anticipated super featherweight bout between undefeated American Mikaela Mayer 12-0 (5) and teak-tough Nigerian Helen Joseph 17-4-2 (10) over 10 two-minute rounds.

Also on the card will be a six-round middleweight stoush between Clay Collard 7-2-3 (2) and Lorawnt-T Nelson 5-3 (4), another six-rounder between Ruben Cervera 11-2 (10) and Clay Burns 9-8-2 (4) at lightweight and a four-round opener between debutant Javier Martinez and Jonathan Burrs 2-1 at middleweight.

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