Making the Rounds: Herring's plan after second positive COVID-19 test; Canelo competing again

Kevin IoleCombat columnist
Yahoo Sports
A weekly look at boxing's hottest topics.
A weekly look at boxing's hottest topics.

False positive? Herring thinks so

If Jamel Herring comes back after a second delay caused by a positive COVID-19 test and successfully defends his WBO junior lightweight title against Jonathan Oquendo, he should be the easy choice as the 2020 Fighter of the Year.

He was supposed to fight Oquendo on July 2 but the fight was scrapped when he tested positive for the coronavirus. It was rescheduled for Tuesday, but on Monday it was announced that he’d tested for the coronavirus again and the fight was pulled.

Herring said he originally tested positive after exhibiting symptoms on June 22. He said he has an antibody test that shows he has the antibodies for it, so he believes this is a false positive. It’s the same claim that Mikaela Mayer made last month when she tested positive. Coincidentally, Mayer’s fight with Helen Joseph was moved up to be the main event, replacing Herring-Oquendo.

The Mayer-Joseph fight will be the first women’s bout to headline “Top Rank on ESPN” in nearly 20 years. Other women’s fights have been the main event on ESPN, but this is the first for Top Rank.

Herring said he wants to go in August, even though that will represent three consecutive training camps and will be hard on the body. He is in quarantine in Las Vegas now and will go home for a week or two before getting back into training.

“I’m laughing as I talk to you because this situation is so crazy,” Herring told Yahoo Sports. “Before I was allowed to travel here, I had to take a test and I passed it, because you’re not allowed to fly if you’re positive. So I get here and a day later I’m positive? Come on.”

But, Herring said he’s not about to give up. Top Rank only has one show in August, and though there’s no date yet, he plans to compete on it.

“It’s going to be tough [with back-to-back-to-back] camps, but I’ve never been afraid of hard work,” Herring said. “I just want to get to that first bell. I am trying to keep a positive attitude. There is a lot going on in this world and people have a lot of issues they’re having to deal with. I’ve had my problems, but it could be worse. I’m fine and it won’t be long before I’m back, so I will be grateful for that.” 

The Herring-Oquendo fight wasn’t the only one impacted on Tuesday’s card. Luis Melendez also tested positive for COVID-19 and his bout with Eddie Vazquez has been canceled.

Ramirez-Postol booked a third time

Jose Ramirez and Viktor Postol are going to give it a third shot at fighting for Ramirez’s WBC and WBO super lightweight belts.

They were originally scheduled to fight in China in February, but that was canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak there. Then, it was rescheduled for May 9 in Ramirez’s hometown of Fresno, California, but the pandemic canceled it again.

Now, they’re scheduled for a bout in late August. The date has yet to be set, as ESPN is trying to put its schedule for MLB and the NBA together.

Canelo back in action

Canelo Alvarez was back competing in Nevada, but his venue this time was the Edgewood Tahoe Golf club in South Lake Tahoe, not in a boxing ring.

The multi-division world champion took up golf less than a year ago and got a lot of air time during the American Century Championship celebrity tournament that concluded Sunday.

The tournament uses a modified Stableford scoring system where 10 points are given for a double eagle, eight points for a hole-in-one or an eagle, three points for a birdie, one point for a par, zero for a bogey and negative two for a double bogey or worse.

Alvarez finished 50th in the 70-player field with -16 points over 54 holes. Retired tennis player Mardy Fish won with 76 points.

Alvarez’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions, also competed. De La Hoya, who is an avid golfer, finished 29th with 14 points.

It would have been interesting to see the two play together, given they’ve frequently been at odds, but alas, that did not happen.

There is still no word on Alvarez’s return to the ring, but one of his potential opponents, Sergey Derevyanchenko, appears headed to a fight with WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo.

Whitman leaving Top Rank

Top Rank president Todd duBoef confirmed to Yahoo Sports that Harrison Whitman, the company’s general counsel and vice president of business and legal affairs, was moving on to look at other opportunities.

It was an amicable parting, duBoef said, and Whitman is staying on for several months to train his successor, Jeremy Koegel, who is leaving a job at the powerful Los Angeles law firm O’Melveny to take the role at Top Rank.

Whitman played a key role in all areas of Top Rank’s business, so his loss will be felt. But duBoef said Koegel came with high recommendations from Daniel Petrocelli, a partner at O’Melveny.

She said it

“After having two fights canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am relieved and excited to be back and grateful to Top Rank for getting me back on a card so quickly. I’m not the fighter you last saw in October. I’ve had three camps to peak myself and grow as an athlete. A whole new fighter is stepping in that ring [tonight], so I hope Helen is ready.” — Top Rank super featherweight Mikaela Mayer.

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