By now, you probably take these things with a grain of salt, and chalk it up to the new business as unusual. But this one, this one is strange, even for these times.
Coram, Long Island, NY native Jamel Herring, The Fighting Marine, will not fight on Tuesday, July 14, because he tested positive for COVID-19. Yes, again.
The 34 year old Herring had been slated to fight Jonathan Oquendo July 2, but that plan went up in smoke when Herring's virus test got red flagged. So, he rested up, Top Rank reset the fight versus Oquendo, for July 14 in the Las Vegas “Bubble” at MGM, and all systems were go.
Until they weren't…
So, a Mikaela Mayer vs Helen Joseph fight has been elevated to the main event.
Here is the release Top Rank sent out explaining the change of plans:
Tomorrow's Top Rank on ESPN main event between WBO junior lightweight world champion Jamel Herring and Jonathan Oquendo will not proceed as scheduled after Herring tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this morning. The highly anticipated Mikaela Mayer-Helen Joseph junior lightweight bout will be Tuesday's main event (ESPN & ESPN Deportes, 9 p.m. ET).
Said Herring, “I’m extremely disappointed that I’m not going to be able to fight tomorrow night. As I’ve shared previously, I tested positive for COVID-19 on June 22 after exhibiting symptoms. I quarantined and recovered as directed by my doctor. I then retested on July 3 and my test was negative, so this result is a complete surprise. I was fully prepared to make my second title defense tomorrow night. I am hoping that my team and Top Rank can reschedule this fight soon. Thank you for all the support everyone has shown. I can’t wait to get back in the ring and perform.”
In addition, the Luis Melendez-Eddie Vazquez bout has been canceled due to Melendez testing positive for COVID-19.
The ESPN telecast will continue as follows:
Main Event: Mikaela Mayer vs. Helen Joseph, 10 Rounds, Junior Lightweight
Clay Collard vs. Lorawnt-T Nelson, 6 Rounds, Middleweight
Ruben Cervera vs. Clay Burns, 6 Rounds, Lightweight
Javier Martinez (Pro Debut) vs. Jonathan Burrs, 4 Rounds, Middleweight