Top Rank and ESPN is once again returning to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas live this Saturday night within the confines of “The Bubble.”
WBO Super Featherweight Champion Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring (21-2) will be defending his title against Puerto Rican contender Jonathan Oquendo (31-6).
It’s been an interesting few months for the thirty-four year old Herring, who had his fight rescheduled not once but twice in July. It was a heavily discussed sequence of events and NYFights.com Editor in Chief Michael Woods did a deep dive on the whole situation for “The Ring” back in July.
When dealing with consecutive cancellations, it is hard to imagine that any fighter would not only become frustrated but may also find themselves not as motivated to perform in the ring.
This is certainly not the case for the man who goes by “Semper Fi,” which is short for Semper Fidelis. The phrase Semper Fidelis is Latin for “Always Faithful” and the Marine Corps adopted this as their motto around 1833.
When you look up the reasoning behind it, you’ll find within the Marine Corps University that “this motto is proved by the fact that there has never been a mutiny, or even the thought of one, among U.S. Marines.”
You will be hard pressed to find a fighter out there who represents that phrase more than Jamel Herring.
The power of that is what fuels the words “Honor, Courage, Commitment” that each Marine holds so close to their heart. I mention all of this because Jamel Herring is a Marine veteran who does not allow adversity to cloud his focus and decision making ability in and outside of the ring.
The pride of Long Island could have very easily moved on from Oquendo and went straight into the fight with Frampton but knowing what it is to be a fighter seeking a title shot, he decided to keep the fight and honor the agreement.
With the fight coming up on Saturday, here are some things to know about his opponent:
Jonathan Oquendo is a thirty-seven year old fighter who is about six inches shorter than the champion but makes up for that with good hand speed and an aggressive fighting style. His last fight was against Charles Huerta (21-6) ,who he beat by unanimous decision.
This will certainly be a challenge for the champion and Oquendo will look to spoil plans of a mega fight with Carl Frampton down the road.
Last weekend, we saw what type of effect multiple delays can have on a fighter, even at the world class level. These effects show that fighters are not super-human and it can be difficult to stay motivated for a fight.
This Saturday night, the fighting Marine will be on ESPN with members of the military from all over the world tuning in to watch. The big question is how Jamel will look in the ring after all of the delays and the ten-month layoff.
Will Jonathan Oquendo use the momentum of his last win to help secure a victory or will the WBO Champion Jamel Herring once again overcome adversity and have his hand raised in victory?
Tune into ESPN this Saturday night to see these two collide in a battle that has the makings of an all action fight.