By: Hans Themistode
Before Jamel Herring takes on Jonathan Oquendo inside of the ring, he’ll have to take on COVID-19 outside of it.
The WBO Super Featherweight champion was scheduled to put his title on the line as the headliner on a July 2nd, Top Rank card but was forced to pull out due to the deadly virus.
For Top Rank, they have grown accustomed to COVID-19 attacking their fighters. On the very first show back after a near four month forced hiatus, Featherweight prospect Mikaela Mayer tested positive for the virus and was subsequently taken off the card.
Nine days later, super lightweight contender Mikkel LesPierre was removed from his contest against Jose Pedraza due to his manager Josie Taveras testing positive.
Herring, a US Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq, was looking forward to defending his title. But he takes solace in his health returning to normal.
“Physically I’m feeling like myself again,” said Herring during an interview with ESPN analyst Mark Kriegal. “I had a rocky few days but right now I’m feeling like myself. For the most part in training camp I was going through my regular course in training. I pushing myself to the limit. Even though I guess I had the virus it wasn’t taking any effect on how I was feeling and looking in training camp. So I’m just happy to be here.”
The news of Herring’s good health was enough to put a smile on his face during his interview with Mark Kriegel. But his smile widened when he revealed just how soon he would be able to enter the ring.
“Best case scenario I’ve been told that it would be July 14th. That’s because we took care of the situation quickly.”
Under normal circumstances, the news of good health for the Super Featherweight titlist would be the end of it. But with Herring sharing a gym with current pound for pound star Terence Crawford, the story took another turn.
Throughout the entirety of Herrings camp, Crawford was shown by his side. They hit the heavy bag together, worked on techniques and Crawford was even shown holding the mitts for his stablemate.
With Herring and Crawford in such close proximity for much of his camp, the focus began to shift towards the pound for pound star and the rest of his team. He wasn’t specific, but Herring did give a bit of good news.
“Everyone has gotten tested and for the most part, everyone’s test results has come back negative, thank God. We’re just taking things one day at a time.”
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