Top Rank has officially released the artwork for the Lomachenko-Lopez Unified WBO Lightweight Championship Clash

Vasiliy Lomachenko’s fight with Teofimo Lopez Jr. will take place inside the bubble at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Oct. 17.

Top Rank announced a number of fight nights as live boxing continues to come back from the COVID-19-enforced shutdown, including Vasiliy Lomachenko’s anticipated showdown with Teofimo Lopez Jr. for Oct. 17.

Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) and Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) were originally set to clash with the Ukrainian’s titles put up against the unbeaten American’s IBF strap at Madison Square Garden, before the hoped May 30 date was one of many to be washed away by the coronavirus pandemic.

The MGM Grand, venue for so many all-time great boxing clashes, has been nicknamed “The Las Vegas Bubble” as it prepares to welcome post-lockdown action across a number of weekend dates, all of which conforming to COVID-19 protocol.

Weigh-In Results: Jamel Herring vs. Jonathan Oquendo

TOMORROW at 7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT live on ESPN+
from the MGM Grand Conference Center – Grand Ballroom (Las Vegas)

(ESPN+ 7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT)
Jamel Herring 129.5 lbs vs. Jonathan Oquendo 129.6 lbs
(Herring’s WBO Jr. Lightweight World Title — 12 Rounds)

Steven Nelson 167.6 lbs vs. DeAndre Ware 168 lbs
(Nelson’s NABO Super Middleweight Title — 10 Rounds)

Photos by Mikey Williams

LAS VEGAS (September 3, 2020) — Two fight dates came and went, and WBO junior lightweight world champion Jamel Herring and Jonathan Oquendo had nothing to show for it. Herring’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis forced postponements of July 2 and July 14 fight dates, but he and Oquendo will finally face off Saturday from the MGM Grand Las Vegas (ESPN+, 7:30 p.m. ET).

Herring (21-2, 10 KOs) will make the second defense of the world title he won from Masayuki Ito last May, while Oquendo (31-6, 19 KOs), a 37-year-old veteran from Puerto Rico, is making his second attempt at a world title.

In the co-feature, NABO Super Middleweight Champion Steven Nelson, a stablemate of Herring’s, will fight DeAndre Ware in a 10-rounder.

This is what Herring and Oquendo had to say at Thursday’s press conference.

Jamel Herring

“I just feel like everything happens for a reason. It’s not like I was the only one suffering. It’s a global pandemic, so I can’t really complain too much. I’m just glad that I have a great team.

“Going through a global pandemic, I was still fortunate to have training camp. We have a gym. My strength coach, Jamie Belt, is here, {assistant trainer} Esau Dieguez as well. Being around {Terence Crawford}, Steven Nelson, who is also fighting this weekend, Rob Brant, Maurice Hooker, and so many guys coming in that gym… I’m just grateful. Despite all the setbacks, I’m still able to handle business. I sparred every other day. We have a track. To me, it’s just another day at the job, and I’m just happy to be here.

“All I need to hear is Bomac’s {Brian McIntyre’s} voice in the corner, Red Spikes, and Esau, and I’m fine with that. {Bomac} will probably be the highlight of the show, to be honest with you. Any fighter will tell you, once they get in there, it’s tunnel vision anyway. My job is to focus on what’s in front of me. I can’t really worry about what’s going on on the outside. It’s just a great opportunity for fighters to be back in the ring, period. Despite having no crowd, we’re still fortunate to be doing what we love and do for a living. That’s all that matters to me.

“All I can focus on is this fight, getting to even right now on this stage. Everything was a process. I’m not really worried about what’s going on. With this series, we’ve seen many, many upsets because fighters tend to maybe not train their best or look ahead to things.”

Jonathan Oquendo

“I was disappointed {when the July 14 fight was postponed} right before the weigh-ins. I knew things were going to be OK. I understand the position of my opponent. I was worried about the fight never happening, but I had faith in Top Rank, and I know they do a good job. I’m ready to go for it Saturday night.

“I want to congratulate Herring. I know he’s a great fighter. He deserves everything he has right now, and I will try my best on Saturday night. I’ve been waiting for this opportunity.

“I’m 37 years old, but mentally, I’m prepared. I believe this is the perfect time for me to fight for a world title. I want to show the world what I’m capable of doing.

“Health and safety is the most important thing. I’m good. Herring is good. I can’t wait to fight.”

Photos by Mikey Williams / Top Rank

LAS VEGAS (August 13, 2020) — WBO Junior Lightweight World Champion Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring hopes the wait is finally over. Herring, a decorated U.S. Marine veteran from Coram, N.Y., will make his second world title defense Saturday, Sept. 5 against Puerto Rican challenger Jonathan Oquendo at the MGM Grand Conference Center. Herring and Oquendo were scheduled to fight July 2, then July 14, but Herring twice tested positive for COVID-19.

In the 10-round super middleweight co-feature, it’s a battle of the Midwest as Omaha’s unbeaten Steven “So Cold” Nelson takes on Toledo’s DeAndre Ware.

Herring-Oquendo and Nelson-Ware will stream live on ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET, with undercard action to stream on ESPN+ beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET.

“Jamel has had a run of bad luck, but his fortunes will change for the better inside the ‘Bubble’ on September 5,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Oquendo is a crafty veteran who understands this may be his last shot at a world title, and I expect him to give ‘The Fighting Marine’ one heck of a fight.”

Herring said, “This postponement is a blessing in disguise because I feel 10 times better than I did three weeks ago. I’m grateful to have another opportunity to get back in the ring. I’ve fully recovered from COVID-19 and I’m more than ready for anything Jonathan Oquendo brings on September 5. Our team has a great game plan and we are eager to carry it out.”

Oquendo said, “I am very happy with finally getting this opportunity to challenge Herring for his world title, as the fight has been canceled twice because of COVID-19. At one point, I thought that maybe the fight was not going to happen, but thanks to God, we are now ready for September 5.

“We are going to win. We are in a very positive mindset. We are going to leave everything in the ring. It’s now or never. It would be a great accomplishment to become world champion at 37. That’s what we are going to do.”

Herring (21-2, 10 KOs) returns following the longest layoff of his career, nearly 10 months since he outpointed the previously unbeaten Lamont Roach Jr. at an outdoor ballpark in Fresno, Calif. Soon after his most recent positive COVID-19 test, he received a clean bill of health and resumed training camp in Omaha, Neb. Oquendo (31-6, 19 KOs) rebounded from a March 2019 decision defeat to Roach to shut out Charles Huerta last September. He is 5-1 since a December 2015 defeat to Jesus Cuellar for the WBA featherweight world title.

Nelson (16-0, 13 KOs), who trains alongside Herring and pound-for-pound king Terence Crawford in Omaha, recently moved down from light heavyweight and is ranked No. 8 by the WBO at super middleweight. He last fought in January, knocking out then-unbeaten prospect Cem Kilic on ESPN. A talented artist who designs his fight night attire— he entered the ring as The Grinch with a Santa hat against Kilic — Nelson hopes to notch his fourth knockout in a row. Ware (13-2-2, 8 KOs), a Toledo firefighter when he’s not fighting in the ring, is two fights removed from a February 2019 decision win over the previously unbeaten Ronald Ellis.

Nelson said, “I’ve been training and staying ready in Omaha with my team. Now it’s time to clock in for overtime. No audience? I don’t need cheers to do my job. I’m focused on the task at hand, which is to defeat DeAndre Ware.”