Jonathan Oquendo Gets Disqualified; Jamel Herring Eyes Carl Frampton Next
After eight ugly, clinch-filled rounds, WBO super featherweight champion Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring (21-2, 10 KO’s) defeated Jonathon “Polvo” Oquendo (31-6, 19 KO’s) by way of controversial DQ. The lively scrap stood as Herring’s second title defense after winning it from Masayuki Ito in May 2019.
The win over Oquendo was especially satisfying due to the bout being postponed twice. On both occasions, Semper Fi was diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus. Evidently, the third time proved to be the charm. For Oquendo, this was his second failed attempt at obtaining a world title.
TRYING TO TAME THE BULL
The prizefight began with a very aggressive, but largely ineffective Oquendo bulling his way to the inside. Once recklessly charging in headfirst, the overly-anxious challenger did little else than initiate a series of ugly clinches that were consistently broken up by referee Tony Weeks.
While he was doing anything but panicking, it was clear the wild-style was bothering the champ and preventing him from getting into a good groove. That changed quickly in the third when Semper Fi stepped back and planted a picture-perfect left uppercut on Oquendo’s chin. The shot put him down but did not seriously hurt him.
UGLY BUT EFFECTIVE
In the fifth, the grueling bout became a bit more arduous for Herring. After charging in with his head, Polvo opened up a cut on the champ’s eye. Weeks was quick to rule the foul intentional and deducted a point from the challenger.
Over the next several rounds, Polvo continued to maul and frustrate Herring. The grinding nature of the fight bothered the champion to the point he appeared to nail his foe with an intentional low-blow.
THE EASY WAY OUT?
Unfortunately, in between the eighth and ninth rounds, Team Herring opted to use the intentional head-butt ruling to their advantage. Rather than continue with the contest, Herring could be heard saying that he could not see. His trainer Brian “Bo-Mac” McIntyre would concur.
When it was briefly explained that he might lose if they stuck with the choice, they wavered on that decision momentarily. But once assured that he would not automatically lose, Semper Fi took the easy exit out of a difficult situation.
After a lengthy delay, the official decision was ruled as DQ victory for Herring. To make matters worse, Herring flat-out said that he could have continued but just didn’t want to in the post fight interview. In the end, even though he picked up the win, this was a bad look for the champion.
He will now turn his attention to a future fight with Carl “The Jackal” Frampton (28-2, 16 KO’s). This will be interesting as Frampton has much more skill than Oquendo and now has a blueprint on how to take the belt from Herring that he can study before the two meet!
By: Bakari Simpson