Top Rank boss Bob Arum has indicated that WBO super featherweight champion Jamel ‘Semper Fi’ Herring 21-2 (10) will defend his world title against Carl ‘The Jackal’ Frampton 27-2 (15) later this year.
The 34-year-old southpaw from Cincinnati was scheduled to make the second defence of his belt against Jonathan Oquendo in Las Vegas on Tuesday before testing positive to coronavirus for the second time.
Arum is hoping to reschedule the Herring-Oquendo fight in August. Frampton, 33, is expected to return to the ring behind closed doors in the UK summer.
“We were greatly saddened when Jamel Herring tested positive for COVID-19,” Arum posted to Twitter.
“We expect not only him back in the ring in August, but also Carl Frampton.
“If they’re both victorious, we will attempt to match them against each other in the fourth quarter of 2020.”
It was the second time Herring has tested positive for coronavirus after a previous diagnosis on 22 June ahead of the original fight date of July 2. The fight was rescheduled for July 14.
“I quarantined and recovered as directed by my doctor. I then retested on 3 July and my test was negative, so this result is a complete surprise,” Herring said earlier this week.
The champion expressed his frustration on social media in the wake of the test result.
“These tests are 30% faulty,” Herring said. “Here’s clearly my timeline of when I contracted the virus, til the time I came back negative. I even woke up today on weight, ready to go, and even took an antibody test this morning to prove I’m fine, but the commission didn’t want to risk it.
“Crazy thing is… this was the easiest weight cut that I had! I wasn’t drained, and I could’ve made weight earlier last week. My trainer and manager Brian ‘Bomac’ McIntyre wanted to see if I could compete at 126… but that’s pushing it.
“I did everything possible. They asked me to take the antibody test this morning, just for them to return and cancel the fight.”