It was anything but pretty, but that won’t matter to Irish fight fans, who were happy to see Jamel Herring retain his WBO super featherweight world title in Las Vegas last night.
In fact they may be as happy to see the American put it a laboured performance against the 37-year-old Colombian, Jonathan Oquendo, ahead of a proposed November defence against Carl Frampton.
Herring won the fight after Oquendo was disqualified. A cut that was deemed to be opened up by an intentional foul in the fifth was hampering ‘Semper Fi’s’ vision and forced the referee to call a halt to proceedings.
Had Tony Weeks ruled an accidental clash the bout would have gone to the cards after eight – and Herring, who dropped Oquendo in the third, would have claimed an 80-70,80-70, 79-71 points win.
It appears wide in Herring’s favour, but the 34-year-old wasn’t at his best in a fight that had to be rescheduled twice because he caught Corona Virus.
It’s something Frampton fans will take encouragement from, although ‘The Jackal’ didn’t consult his best form in his most recent win over Darren Traynor.
The cut may also be an issue. November may be too soon for Herring to return to the ring after such an abrasion over the eye.
“We knew coming in that he was gonna be aggressive with a head first,” Herring told ESPN’s Bernardo Osuna following his win. “It just kept repeating on the inside, you know, and Tony finally caught on to it. But I didn’t want to it to end like that.
“I was cool, like I said, [to continue] with one eye. I’ve been there, in the [Denis] Shafikov fight, fighting with one eye. So, I’ve been there. That wasn’t an issue, but my team felt it was just too much. So … we just had to stop it or whatever.”
“It just got too ugly,” Herring said. “I wasn’t too satisfied with my performance, to be honest with you. In the beginning, you know what I’m saying, everything was going real smooth. Like I say, me boxing. I put him down with an uppercut [in the third round], but like I said, we knew he was gonna come in headfirst, so we had to time it. But in the end, you know, I wasn’t happy how I was looking. I’m disappointed with the outcome because, you know what I’m saying, I’ve never been in that situation. Like I say, I’ve been through worse, but I’ve never been in a situation where we had to, you know what I’m saying, stop any fight.
“It’s not just about getting the win, it’s how you look. And, you know, I’m a very harsh critic on myself, but it is what it is. Bob [Arum] spoke to me, told me just to rest because you guys know I’ve been through a 20-week training camp. So, you know, it is what it is. I can go home to my family. Hopefully, the cut isn’t that bad and, like I said, I still want the Carl Frampton fight next, by all means. November, December, whatever, I still want that fight next.”