Watch Jamel 'Semper Fi' Herring as he takes on Jonathan Oquendo Jr. for the WBO junior lightweight title in Las Vegas late this Saturday night from 12.30am on eir sport 1.
The fight has been postponed a couple of times as Herring twice tested positive for COVID-19 in July, but the wait is finally over and the decorated US Marine veteran is set for the second defence of his belt at last at the MGM Grand Conference Center.
Herring (21-2, 10 KOs) returns following the longest lay-off of his career. It is almost ten months since he outpointed the previously-unbeaten Lamont Roach Jr. in Fresno, California.
Meanwhile, challenger Oquendo Jr. (31-6, 19 KOs) rebounded from a March 2019 decision defeat to Roach to shut out Charles Huerta last September. He is 5-1 since a December 2015 defeat to Jesus Cuellar for the WBA featherweight world title.
“This postponement is a blessing in disguise because I feel ten times better than I did three weeks ago," Herring said.
"I’m grateful to have another opportunity to get back in the ring. I’ve fully recovered from COVID-19 and I’m more than ready for anything Jonathan Oquendo brings on September 5th. Our team has a great game plan and we are eager to carry it out.”
Puerto Rican Oquendo Jr. is also eager to get back in the ring.
“I am very happy with finally getting this opportunity to challenge Herring for his world title, as the fight has been cancelled twice because of COVID-19," he said.
“We are going to win. We are in a very positive mindset. 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."
The Herring-Oquendo Jr. title fight shares top billing with 'The Battle of the Midwest' as Omaha’s unbeaten Steven 'So Cold' Nelson takes on Toledo’s DeAndre Ware in what promises to be fascinating middleweight contest over ten rounds.
Nelson (16-0, 13 KOs), who trains alongside Herring and pound-for-pound king Terence Crawford in Omaha, recently moved down from light heavyweight and is ranked No. 8 by the WBO at super middleweight. He last fought in January, knocking out then-unbeaten prospect Cem Kilic.
“I’ve been training and staying ready in Omaha with my team," he said. "Now it’s time to clock in for overtime. No audience? I don’t need cheers to do my job. I’m focused on the task at hand, which is to defeat DeAndre Ware.”
Ware (13-2-2, 8 KOs), a Toledo firefighter when he’s not in the ring, is two fights removed from a February 2019 decision win over the previously-unbeaten Ronald Ellis.
***Join us for LIVE coverage from Las Vegas from 12.30am late Saturday night on eir sport 1.