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Fugly fight finish: Jamel Herring leaves the The Bubble with DQ win over Jonathan Oquendo

Written By | Sep 6, 2020
Jamel Herring survived a fugly fight finish to score a disappointing eighth round win via disqualification against Jonathan Oquendo. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank Boxing

Jamel Herring was winning on all the cards in a blowout against Jonathan Oquendo. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank Boxing

SAN DIEGO Calif., September 5, 2020 – Marine Corps veteran and WBO junior lightweight champion Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring of Cincinnati waited eight weeks for this?

Jamel Herring was cut due to an intentional headbutt in the fifth round. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank Boxing

Jamel Herring was cut due to an intentional headbutt in the fifth round. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank Boxing

Herring (22-2, 10 KO) won a messy, foul-filled fugly fight against veteran Jonathan Oquendo of Puerto Rico (31-7, 19 KOs) in a disqualification of Oquendo after eight rounds. It wasn’t the fight anyone hoped to see especially after two delayed dates due to positive COVID-19 tests. Had it gone to the scorecards, Herring was winning in a blowout fueled by a crafty check left uppercut knockdown, 80-70 X 2, and 79-71.

Jamel Herring scored a knockdown via a check left upper cut in the fourth round, but from there the fight deteriorated. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank Boxing

It wasn’t any surprise when Oquendo made it rough, but as he repeatedly rushed Herring, Oquendo landed more clean headbutts than clean punches. A headbutt in the fifth round opened a nasty cut over the right eye of Herring. Referee Tony Weeks ruled it an intentional foul, and docked Oquendo a point. Per the unified rules, it should have been two points and the fight should have gone to the cards. Cutman Levi Smith did an admirable job keeping the cut under control. Oquendo made it worse by strafing the laces of his gloves over the cut.

The fight continued for three additional rounds before the ringside physician and referee Tony Weeks determined Herring shouldn’t continue. The outcome was delayed when ringside officials conferred to determine the outcome, which made for a few tense moments before the disqualification was awarded to Herring.




It wasn’t the dress rehearsal Jamel Herring was counting on leading into a fight with Carl Frampton, but he didn’t blame his bout with COVID-19. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank Boxing

Herring was disappointed in the outcome and his performance. “He just kept coming. We knew coming in he was going to be aggressive, coming head first. Tony (Weeks) finally caught on to it,” said Herring.

Herring said he was fully prepared to continue, “I was cool, I fought in the (Denis) Shafikov fight with one eye (a 2016 TKO loss). I’ve been there. But my team felt it was too much. We just had to stop it. It got ugly.”

Herring said at the end, he wasn’t happy with the outcome. “I’ve never been in that situation … it’s not just about getting the win, it’s how you look.” Herring hoped the fight would provide him a dress rehearsal for his anticipated bout with former world champion Carl Frampton of Belfast. Now he’s got to heal from the cut and has a lot to think about. “Bob (Arum) told me to rest. I can go home to my family. I hope the cut isn’t that bad. I hope I can fight Frampton in November or December,” said Herring, but the date must now be in doubt.

Jamel Herring said he still hopes to fight Carl Frampton later in 2020, but the cut will get the say. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank Boxing

Jamel Herring said he still hopes to fight Carl Frampton later in 2020, but the cut will get the say. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank Boxing

Herring didn’t blame his performance on his bout with the coronavirus. “In terms of conditioning, I was good. I was not huffing and puffing. It just got too ugly. To me, it just felt bad in the second half.”

Critics didn’t waste a minute accusing Herring of “quitting,” but there was absolutely no reason for the fight to continue. It was a virtual shutout to the point of the stoppage for Herring, and there was no reason for four more rounds of garbage fighting risking any worse injury to Herring. Here’s hoping the cut heals quickly and the Herring vs. Frampton fight doesn’t put another delay in Herring’s path.

Herring reported via social media he was en route to a Las Vegas hospital after the bout for a precautionary exam to rule out any additional damage to the orbital bone. At least he won’t need to be COVID-19 tested.

Nelson stops Ware in six

Steven Nelson stepped it with the left hook and stopped DeAndre Ware in six rounds. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank Boxing

Steven Nelson stepped it with the left hook and stopped DeAndre Ware in six rounds. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank Boxing

In the co-feature, unbeaten super middleweight Steven Nelson of Omaha (17-0, 14 KOs) battled cuts due to headbutts as much as he battled DeAndre Ware of St. Louis (13-3-2, 8 KOs) on the way to a sixth-round TKO win. Nelson was first cut in the second round, but the next cut in the fifth round closer to the eye was more serious. In the sixth round, Nelson turned up the heat and scored with a hard left hook through the guard, backing up and wobbling Ware. He stayed on his feet and did his best to survive but referee Jay Nady only let Ware take a limited amount of damage before stopping the bout at 2:24 of the round.

“When that second cut come, I  know how fighters are. When they see an injury, they attack. I thought, you know, I gotta get to work … the headbutt was perfect timing to me to pick it up,” said Nelson. “In the back, I didn’t feel too good coming to the fight. I thought you know, I got to push through it. I’ve always been a workhorse. Some days you feel flat on your feet. I pushed through it though, I got the win, I got the stoppage. That’s all that matters,” said Nelson.

Jared Anderson makes it three wins in The Bubble

Jared Anderson said he showed he can box as well as bang in his bout against veteran Rodney Hernandez. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank Boxing

Jared Anderson said he showed he can box as well as bang in his bout against veteran Rodney Hernandez. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank Boxing

Heavyweight prospect Jared “The Real Big Baby” Anderson of Toledo (6-0, 6 KOs) remained unbeaten in his third fight in The Bubble. Anderson went four hard rounds against veteran Rodney Hernandez of Modesto, California (13-10-2, 4 KOs) before landing a hard straight left and followed up to score the stoppage at 2:22 of the round.

“It was about getting those rounds in and showing I could really box, I’m not just a puncher,” said Anderson. “I’m getting a learning experience, getting in and slowing down,” Anderson said he saw the end coming after the third round. “I know I got him beat, he’s getting tired, I can stop and have fun. Working on the back feet, then I see the shot, and I take it.”




Light work for light flyweight Jesse Rodriguez

Jesse Rodriguez scored three knockdowns in the first round against Janiel Rivera. Photo: Mikey WIlliams, Top Rank Boxing

Jesse Rodriguez scored three knockdowns in the first round against Janiel Rivera. Photo: Mikey WIlliams, Top Rank Boxing

Light flyweight prospect Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez of San Antonio (12-0, 8 KOs) put away Janiel Rivera of Puerto Rico (18-7-3, 11 KOs) with an impressive first-round stoppage at 2:03 which extends his KO streak to four. The talented southpaw promoted by Teiken Promotion of Japan delivered his left hook for three knockdowns before the fight was waved off. “I saw I was hurting him. This is my power shot right here,” said Rodriguez.

“I told Robert in the locker room this was the best I ever felt. I proved it today,” said Rodriguez,” who is the brother of WBA World Super Flyweight champion Joshua Franco. “To have a brother as a champion is really motivating to me. I know I can do the same. It really brought out the best in me in camp.” Rodriguez says it’s his mindset. “I want to be the best. Every fight, I want to be a better me. Every fight I want to go the extra mile.”

Additional undercard results

Ruben Cervera didn't let a cut stop him from the win on Saturday. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank Boxing

Ruben Cervera didn’t let a cut stop him from the win on Saturday. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank Boxing

Ruben Cervera of Colombia (13-2, 11 KOs), scored his second win in The Bubble with a second-round TKO win over New Orleans native Rennard Oliver (7-3-3, 0 KOs) at junior lightweight.

Adan Ochoa scored a second round knockdown, but it wasn't enough for the win over Edward Vazquez. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank Boxing

Adan Ochoa scored a second round knockdown, but it wasn’t enough for the win over Edward Vazquez. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank Boxing

Edward “Kid” Vazquez of Fort Worth (8-0, 1 KO) was fortunate to escape The Bubble with a win against Adan “Temo” Ochoa of Los Angeles (11-2, 4 KOs) in their six-round junior lightweight bout by unanimous decision. Ochoa scored a knockdown in the second round and appeared to have command of the bout, but the judges saw it for Vasquez by scores of 58-55 X 2 and 57-56.

Replacement opponent Benjamin Whitaker of San Antonio (14-4, 3 KOs) is glad he took the call to face D’Andre Smith of Decatur, Georgia (8-1. 5 KOs). Whitaker dealt Smith his first loss in a unanimous decision over eight rounds.

Rashiem Jefferson scored his second pro winn against Jose Martinez. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank Boxing

Rashiem Jefferson scored his second pro win against Jose Martinez. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank Boxing

Former amateur standout Rashiem Jefferson of Philadelphia (2-0) won his second pro fight against Jose Martinez of Los Angeles (2-2, 1 KO) in a four-round featherweight unanimous decision. Scores were 40-36 X 2 and 39-37.

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a veteran boxing observer covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News.

Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities Digital News” when quoting from or linking to this story.  

Gayle Falkenthal

Gayle Falkenthal

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, MS, APR, is President of the Falcon Valley Group, a San Diego based communications consulting firm. Falkenthal is a veteran award-winning broadcast and print journalist, editor, producer, talk host and commentator. She is an instructor at National University in San Diego, and previously taught in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University.