Top Rank promotion’s main event bout for the WBO junior lightweight title ended in an unsatisfactory win for the champion, Jamel Herring. The fight was stopped in the eight-round after Herring could not continue, as cuts over his eye impaired his vision. The cuts came because of repeated headbutts by challenger Jonathan Oquendo during the fight. Herring was given the DQ win as a result.
The defending champion Herring displayed his disappointment in the result through a tweet just after the fight.
The fight started with both fighters getting into multiple clinches, with the referee having to separate them repeatedly. Oquendo being the much shorter opponent tried to close in the distance, going inside headfirst and throwing hooks to Herring’s body and head. This resulted in Herring being hit by a hard headbutt in the second round.
The third round started the same way, with Herring trying to stay at range while Jonathan Oquendo kept diving in, trying to get inside Herring’s range and target his body. Herring eventually connected with a massive left uppercut that dropped Oquendo on the canvas after the latter was coming in with his head first.
Both fighters kept the same gameplan further into the fight, with Oquendo coming in every time with his hands up and the champion Herring trying to keep his distance and connect with uppercuts and check hooks to counter his inside movement.
Just as the bout picked up the pace, and both fighters started having some good exchanges, another hard headbutt hit Herring in the fifth round. This resulted in Herring’s right eye getting cut. Oquendo lost a point in the round because of this.
This gave Herring two 10-8 rounds in the fight. The fight continued on the same course as both boxers tried to impose their gameplan on the other. The fighters kept getting into multiple clinch situations throughout the fight.
In the seventh round, however, the cut got worse and impaired Herring’s vision. Herring and his corner decided not to continue before the eighth round, and thus the referee stopped the fight after looking at Herring’s eye.
Were these headbutts by Oquendo intentional? We don’t know. But what we can say is that it was the right decision by Herring and his corner to stop the fight as he was in no condition to continue. Herring was also winning the bout up till that point, so no one could argue that he took the easy way out. Will a rematch take place between the two? We will see.