By: Hans Themistode
Never has Jamel Herring waited so long to punch someone in the face.
The former marine turned super featherweight champion had his title defense postponed not once, but twice against fringe contender Jonathan Oquendo due to COVID-19.
It was a rocky road for the belt holder, but after successfully winning his initial bout with the deadly disease in mid summer, he was misdiagnosed shortly after which pushed his contest with Oquendo further on the back burner. Now that he has officially placed his COVID-19 woes behind him however, Herring will look to defend his title.
At the age of 37, Oquendo finds himself on the doorsteps of a title shot for the second time in his career. With a mixed bag of outcomes in 2019 which resulted in Oquendo splitting his two contest on the year, the Puerto Rican native is hoping to bring a world title to a land that has seen its fair share of them. After losing in his first bid to call himself a champion back in 2015 to Jesus Cuellar, Oquendo has only tasted defeat on one other occasion.
While the Puerto Rican native will be fighting for both the relevancy of his career and his championship aspirations, Herring will be facing two foes on the night.
A win for the fighting marine has become secondary. His performance in picking up said win, is now ranked number one.
A victory later tonight will all but secure Herring with the biggest contest of his career against former multiple division champion Carl Frampton.
Dates and locations for their contest place have already been discussed, all that is left for Herring to do is take care of business. Although the odds heavily favor Herring to walk right through his senior citizen opponent later on tonight, this new COVID-19 induced boxing landscape has seen its fair share of upsets.
The action kicks off tonight on ESPN at 8 PM Eastern time.