A fresh new stumbling block may have been put between Carl Frampton [28(16)-2(0)] and a shot at Irish sporting history.
‘The Jackal’ has been patiently waiting for his chance to become Irealnd’s first three weight world champion after seeing the pandemic delay his proposed June 13 shot at WBO super featherweight world champion Jamel Herring [22(10)-2(1)].
After both fighters came through recent stay busy bouts it seemed full steam ahead in terms of them meeting later this year.
Bob Arum, who promotes both, has talked positively about November and assured the pair will fight. Both fighters have talked openly about meeting and there is genuine fan interest in the clash.
Indeed, after defending his title successfully against Jonathan Oquendo this past Saturday night in Las Vegas, Herring said: “I still want the Carl Frampton fight next by all means. November, December, whatever. I still want that fight next.”
However, the WBO have now instructed the champion to fight his mandatory before January of 2021 passes.
“In light of the preceding circumstances, the WBO granted Herring a five-month period to fulfill mandatory title defense obligations and his next mandatory is due in January 2021,” said Gustavo Olivieri on behalf of the Puerto Rico-based sanctioning organization when speaking BoxingScene.com.
Neither fighter will be happy to hear the news particularly considering Herring suffered a cut on Saturday, making November an unlikely date.
December would suit, but not if mandatory obligations would have to be fulfilled by January.
Hope will still remain and both fighters will be confident something can be sorted. Top Rank and Bob Arum seem to have sway with the WBO and there is always the step aside money option.
Not to mention ‘Semper Fi’s mandatory challenger is former WBO featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson, who is also a Top Rank fighter.
If Stevenson retains that status over the coming months Top Rank can persuade him to bid his time and fight the winner.
It’s also quite possible Top Rank are open to the idea of Herring versus Stevenson and have it as a back up if travel restrictions kick back into place or there is a winter lockdown.