WBO super featherweight champion Jamal ‘Semper Fi’ Herring 22-2 (10) is considering hanging up the gloves after a likely November clash with former two-weight world champion Carl ‘The Jackal’ Frampton 28-6 (16).
The 34-year-old southpaw retained his title with an eighth-round win over WBO number 12 Jonathan Oquendo 31-7 (19) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night when the challenger was disqualified for headbutts.
Herring had dropped Oquendo with an uppercut in round three before a fifth-round headclash opened a cut over the champion’s right eye. Referee Tony Weeks ruled the action intentional and deducted a point between rounds.
By the end of the eighth round Herring complained he couldn’t see and the fight was waved off. At the time he was leading on all three judges’ scorecards 80-70, 80-70 and 79-71.
Herring and Oquendo were previously scheduled to fight July 2 and then July 14, but Herring twice tested positive for COVID-19 forcing the postponement of the bout both times.
“We knew coming in that he was going to be aggressive with the head first,” said Herring afterward.
“It just kept repeating on the inside, and Tony [Weeks] finally caught on to it. I didn’t want it to end like that… my team felt it was too much, so we had to stop it. Whatever.
“It just got ugly. I wasn’t too satisfied with my performance, to be honest with you. In the beginning, everything was going real smooth, me boxing. I put him down with an uppercut.
“We knew he was going to come head-first. We had to time it. In the end, I wasn’t happy with how I was looking. I’m disappointed with the outcome. I’ve never been in that situation.”
The fight wasn’t exactly a pleasing spectacle and although Herring said he accepted the criticism, he was surprised by it.
“Sitting in a hospital alone while being called out with all sorts of negativity is something else,” he said.
“I’m not angry, I’m not sad, just deep in thought.
“I will still fulfil my obligations against Frampton, but that fight may be my last. I’ve lost too much time from my family as it is.
“I still want the Carl Frampton fight next by all means. November, December, whatever. I still want that fight next.”
Northern Irishman Frampton, 33, has claimed world honours at super bantamweight and featherweight before moving up to the 130-pound weight class last year.
Herring admitted he will need to lift on Saturday’s performance to defeat Frampton.
“I accept all the criticism, I’m not going to run and hide from it,” he said. “Nor will I celebrate or make an excuse about tonight.
“If anything, I’m more frustrated and I need to tighten up for Frampton, simple as that.”
After the fight Herring added on social media: “This week I was just telling a reporter, how I understood and respected [Miguel] Cotto’s wife for wanting him to hang it up, because family is more important.
“I have two children with disabilities, battled through my own demons, yet I’m judged. I still love you ALL though.”