The most prominent fighter, yet, to test positive for COVID 19 announced his diagnosis Tuesday afternoon and it means that his Top Rank Boxing July 2nd Main Event in Vegas is off.
WBO Junior Lightweight Champion Jamel Herring made the announcement via social media Tuesday that a coronavirus test he took last week came up positive:
Last week, I tested positive for COVID-19. That’s the bad news.
The good news however is, I feel ok and have self-isolated until I receive a clean bill of health. My WBO Junior Lightweight world title defense against Jonathan Oquendo will be rescheduled shortly.
Semper Fi 👑
— Jamel Herring (@JamelHerring) June 23, 2020
It’s unclear whether the 34 year old champ tested positive within the Top Rank “bubble” or had yet to arrive at the MGM Convention Center in Las Vegas in final preparation before headlining next Thursday night’s show against contender Jonathan Oquendo.
In an ironic Coronavirus twist, Boxingscene senior writer, Keith Idec, tweeted Tuesday afternoon that the Herring-Oquendo fight may be replaced by another fight that has been delayed buy a Covid-19 diagnosis:
I've been told the Pedraza-LesPierre fight, the first main event ESPN & Top Rank lost to COVID-19, could replace Herring-Oquendo as the main event July 2 in Las Vegas. https://t.co/ozRQ0DpAwo
— Keith Idec (@Idecboxing) June 23, 2020
Pedraza and LesPierre were to have fought last Thursday night but LesPierre’s trainer Jose Tavares tested positive for Covid-19 and was notified on the day of the fight. Then, he was sent home.
However, Tavares reportedly tested negative for Coronavirus on a follow-up exam and got those results on Monday. This, once again, called into question the testing that Top Rank and the Nevada Athletic Commission are using.
Unbeaten women’s Junior featherweight contender, Mikaela Mayer contested her positive designation which cancelled her 10 round co-main event bout with Helen Joseph 2 weeks ago.
Like Tavares, Mayer ended up testing negative several days after the initial diagnosis and wants to return to Vegas as soon as possible to fight Joseph.
Back to Herring. He’s 21 – 2 and was in line to fight Ireland’s Carl Frampton in Belfast in June before the Covid-19 pandemic shut down all of sports back in March. He was last in the ring winning in November, when he scored a 12-round decision over Lamont Roach for his first title defense.
The Former U.S. Marine won the WBO title on Memorial Day of 2019 capturing the belt by 12 decision over Japan’s Masayuki Ito.