Shakur Stevenson Wants His Mandated Title Shot Against Jamel Herring: “I Can’t Turn Down No Title Shot”
By: Hans Themistode
Shakur Stevenson has never been afraid to step into the ring with anyone. But in the case of WBO lightweight titlist Jamel Herring, Stevenson has been reluctant.
Over the years, both fighters have grown to respect and admire each other. They’ve aided one another in terms of fight preparations and share the same inner circle. With Stevenson recently vacating his WBO 126 pound title to make the lightweight division his new home, he was thrust into the number one ranking for the Herring’s world title. But just a few months ago, Stevenson didn’t sound like a man who was willing to take his mandated title shot.
“The thing with that is I will fight Jamel if I have no other choice but to fight him,” said Stevenson to BoxingScene.com not long ago. “We work with the same people. Bo-Mac, Red, they help me out a lot, also. So, I’m not gonna get on record and call out Jamel Herring because me and him are real tight. Like, we all are locked in with the same people.”
At 130 pounds, Stevenson (14-0, 8 KOs) could be matched up with several notable names, but none of them would bring him an immediate world title. The New Jersey native is currently ranked number one in the WBO, number two in the WBC and isn’t ranked in the top ten in the WBA and IBF.
So while he cherishes his friendship with Herring, he cherishes the word champion next to his name a little bit more.
“I’m still cool with Jamel and Bo-Mac and everybody in his camp and everything. Ain’t no hard feelings or nothing, but it’s business,” said Stevenson during a recent interview with Boxingscene.com. “At the end of the day, me and him, we’ve gotta fight each other. It’s the fight business. It’s all business at the end of the day.”
Business is exactly what Herring is thinking of at the moment as well. After winning by sloppy disqualification during his last ring outing against Jonathan Oquendo earlier this year, Herring is lining up the biggest and most lucrative contest of his career against former two division titlist Carl Frampton.
Even though Stevenson knows how much Herring has been looking forward to that showdown, he isn’t going to sit back and allow it to happen.
“The WBO is ordering him to make his mandatory, and I’m his mandatory. I can’t turn down no title shot. It’s an opportunity to become a two-weight division world champ,” Stevenson said. “In only 15 fights, I don’t know who else has done that, especially at my age. So, I think it’s an amazing opportunity and I’m just ready to take advantage of it.”
In terms of how things would play out in a possible matchup between the two, Stevenson didn’t sound worried about their shared workout history. Just like every other contest in his short career, the former Olympic Silver medalist believes it’ll be just another walk in the park.
“I think it would be just like any other fight,” Stevenson said. “ I think that there’s levels. My level is higher than anybody in the 130-pound weight class. I’m just on a whole different level.”
ESPN+ Boxing Results: Jamel Herring Wins Via Ugly Disqualification Against Jonathan Oquendo
Jamel Herring vs Jonathan Oquendo
After having a difficult time finding his rhythm, WBO super featherweight champion Jamel Herring (22-2, 10 KOs) began to dominate Jonathan Oquendo (31-7, 19 KOs).
Oquendo began to look like a sitting duck as Herring landed the same left uppercut over and over again. One of those aforementioned uppercuts resulted in a knockdown of Oquendo. Still, the Puerto Rican native powered through.
On multiple occasions however, Oquendo used his head in order to make room on the inside for his punches. Referee Tony Weeks deducted a point from the challenger on the night but was forced to eventually call off the contest completely after Herring complained that he could not see. From there, Herring was deemed the winner due to a disqualification.
Steven Nelson vs DeAndre Ware
Steven Nelson (17-0, 14 KOs) has continued to call for his shot at a world title. But with no one listening, the Nebraska native made his fists do the talking for him.
Nelson started off uncharacteristically slow and DeAndre Ware took full advantage. The 32 year old landed shots on Nelson that he normally ducks and dodges. This time however, he took them head on and suffered the first cut of his career.
Still, despite the blood dripping from both of his brows, Nelson turned things up during the midway point of their contest. He began punishing Ware repeatedly against the ropes until the referee was giving no choice but to mercifully call off the contest.
Jared Anderson vs Rodney Hernandez
Jared Anderson (6-0, 6 KOs) has taken full advantage of this global pandemic. The heavyweight prospect has made constant appearances on the ESPN platform and he has not disappointed.
The MGM Grand Conference Center witnessed Anderson pickup another stoppage win, this time at the expense of Rodney Hernandez (13-10-2, 4 KOs).
It wasn’t as easy as his previous fights, but Anderson eventually found his money shot in the fourth round.
Rashiem Jefferson vs Jose Martinez
Rashiem Jefferson’s (2-0, 0 KOs) second career contest was just as easy as his first as he easily defeated Jose Martinez (2-2, 1 KO).
Both men squared off to kick off the night at The Bubble at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. It didn’t take long for Jefferson to show who was the better boxer on the night as he easily cruised to a unanimous decision victory.
Edward Vazquez vs Adan Ochoa
In what proved to be a step up bout, featherweight prospect Edward Vazquez (8-0, 1 KO) showed what he was made of against Adan Ochoa (11-2, 2 KOs).
Things started off rough for the Texas native as he found himself kissing the mat in the second round. He may have trailed early on the scorecards but that didn’t stop him from biting down on his mouth piece and turning things in his favor. Over the duration of their contest, Vazquez slowly but assuredly chipped away at the lead until the final bell rung.
In the end, he did just enough to leave with his undefeated record intact. The final scorecards were as followed: 57-56 and two scores of 58-55 all in favor of Vazquez.
Ruben Cervera vs Rennard Oliver
Ruben Cervera (13-2, 11 KOs) left his opponent in Rennard Oliver (7-3-3, 0 KO) in a heap during their contest at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas Nevada.
After a fairly even first round, Cervera leaped at his opponent with a looping right hand that connected. Once the impact was made, Oliver slumped over the second ropes before falling to the mat and ending their contest.
Jamel Herring vs Jonathan Oquendo: Fight Preview
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.
Jamel Herring Hopes The Third Time is The Charm For Scheduled Contest Against Jonathan Oquendo
By: Hans Themistode
A third time has to be the charm for WBO lightweight titlist Jamel Herring.
The marine turned world champion will prepare once more for fringe contender Jonathan Oquendo. The two were originally due to face off against one another in late June before an expected positive COVID-19 test result derailed those plans.
After feeling the effects of the deadly disease for the first few weeks, Herring not only claimed to be feeling much better, but he also tested negative on several occasions.
Following his negative results, Herring vs Oquendo was now going to take place in mid July. However, as is the case in this COVID-19 influenced world, their aforementioned contest was thrown out of whack once again.
According to test results taken by doctors in association with Top Rank, Herring once again popped positive. Incredulous to his results, Herring went to his own personal doctors where they officially cleared him. Still, it wasn’t enough to secure his showdown with Oquendo and their contest was once again postponed.
Now, after a 12 round war with COVID-19, the former Marine has seemingly won his bout with the deadly disease and will now take on Oquendo on September 5th, from the safety of the “Bubble,” at the MGM Grand Conference Center, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
It’s been a long and arduous process for everyone involved. But now that they have put their COVID-19 related issues behind them, Arum is expecting one helluva fight.
“Jamel has had a run of bad luck, but his fortunes will change for the better inside the ‘Bubble’ on September 5,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Oquendo is a crafty veteran who understands this may be his last shot at a world title. I expect him to give ‘The Fighting Marine’ one heck of a fight.
For Herring, he doesn’t know anything other than being tough. When news first broke of his positive test results, the former Marine forced a smile across his face and repeatedly stated that he was alright. However, he was anything but alright.
Now, roughly two months since his first positive test results, Herring no longer needs to put on a brave face.
“This postponement is a blessing in disguise,” said Herring during a recent statement released by Top Rank. “I feel 10 times better than I did three weeks ago. I’m grateful to have another opportunity to get back in the ring. I’ve fully recovered from COVID-19. I’m more than ready for anything Jonathan Oquendo brings on September 5. Our team has a great game plan and we are eager to carry it out.”
While Herring has recovered well, Oquendo has been silently preparing for his opportunity. Things may have looked bleak for the 37 year old contender, but now that their contest will officially take place, he is more than ready to make the most of what could be his last opportunity on the big stage.
“I am very happy with finally getting this opportunity to challenge Herring for his world title,” said Oquendo during a recent statement released by Top Rank. “The fight has been canceled twice because of COVID-19. At one point, I thought that maybe the fight was not going to happen. But thanks to God, we are now ready for September 5.
“We are going to win. We are going to leave everything in the ring. It’s now or never. It would be a great accomplishment to become world champion at 37. That’s what we are going to do.”
Jamel Herring Tests Positive Once Again For COVID-19, Bout Against Jonathan Oquendo Postponed For a Second Time
By: Hans Themistode
Another day, another Top Rank main event down the drain.
For the second time in less then two weeks, WBO super featherweight titlist Jamel Herring has found himself on the losing end in a matchup with COVID-19.
The former marine turned champion was originally scheduled to take on Jonathan Oquendo in a main event headliner on July 2nd. Those plans were immediately scrapped however, once Herring came down with the virus.
All hope was not lost as Herring’s contest was postponed for July 14th. It appeared that all systems were a go as Herring passed a July 3rd test and passed yet another earlier today. Now, with only a few hours left on the clock until showtime, the curtains have come down on Herring vs Oquendo as his most recent results have comeback positive.
With no plans at the moment to stage a third contest, Herring was pissed off to say the least. The current super featherweight belt holder believes he has done everything in his power to stay COVID free. But with no explanations as to what went wrong, Herring has his own assumptions.
“These test are 30% faulty,” said Herring via Twitter.
The former marine would not only point the finger at the test administered by Top Rank but he would also provide proof that he tested negative and made weight.
Following Herrings first failed test two weeks ago, he immediately felt the effects of the virus. This time around, he felt 100 percent ready to step into the ring against Oquendo.
“I feel great, I had the best [weight] cut ever. I was actually on weight days ago. I’m actually more bummed out about this for my team. We put in so much work,” said Herring to ESPN. “We even had the extra weeks for the fight after the original date. The main thing is I took time away from my family. But I’m more upset for the people around me. But I feel great.”
Jamel Herring and Mikaela Mayer Return From Positive COVID-19 Tests on July 14th
After knocking out COVID-19 two weeks prior, WBO super featherweight titlist Jamel Herring (21-2, 10 KOs) will look to do the same against Jonathon Oquendo (31-6, 19 KOs).
Herring was originally slated to defend his title against Oquendo on July 2nd, but had an unexpected opponent in COVID-19. The former marine was diagnosed with the deadly virus with only a few days left before his ring appearance which led to the cancellation of his contest against Oquendo.
The super featherweight titlist proved that he is not only a champion inside of the ring, but also outside of it as he managed to bounce back quickly from the virus and is now set to headline a July 14th event against Oquendo.
The additional time off has given Herring exactly what he needed in order to fully recover, and now, he is ready to move forward.
“I am back, healthy and 100 percent ready to defend my world title. Oquendo is a tough opponent,” said Herring on a Top Rank press release. “He realizes this is his last chance to win a world title. He’s coming for what I have and I’m not going to cut any corners. I will return home to celebrate with my family and my belt.”
Opportunities to fight for a world title don’t fall into the laps of fighters. Especially those who are at an advanced age. Yet, for the 36 year old Oquendo, he’s ready to seize the moment.
“We know Jamel is a slippery, tall, left-handed fighter who has an advantage in range,” said Oquendo on a Top Rank press release. “But we are working for that and we know that we will have no problems. My company knows how hard I fight and how hard I train. Fans like Jonathan Oquendo because he makes for great fights.”
Joining Herring during his July 14th event will be fellow COVID-19 conqueror Mikaela Mayer (12-0, 5 KOs). The former 2016 USA Olympian was initially set to take on perennial contender Helen Joseph (17-4-2, 10 KOs) on Top Ranks June 9th card but was removed after testing positive with the virus.
She has since been cleared to make her way back and is excited to take on Joseph.
“After having two fights canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am relieved and excited to be back and grateful to Top Rank for getting me back on a card so quickly. I’m not the fighter you last saw in October. I’ve had three camps to peak myself and grow as an athlete. A whole new fighter is stepping in that ring on July 14, so I hope Helen is ready.”
The quick turnaround for both Mayer and Herring brings praise from Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. With each fighter medically cleared, he is expecting them to put on a great show.
“Jamel and Mikaela wanted to come back as soon as possible,” said Bob Arum. “We were happy to oblige them. They are healthy and ready to put forth tremendous performances.”
Jamel Herring vs Jonathan Oquendo Postponed Due to Positive COVID-19 Test For Herring
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.”