Top 130-pound prospect Jon Fernandez (16-1, 14 KOs) and former decorated amateur O’Shaquie Foster (14-2, 8 KOs) battled in a 10-round matchup in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation on Friday, September 22, 2018.
The fight card was promoted by DiBella Entertainment and took place at the Firelake Arena in Shawnee, Oklahoma.
Fernandez, a native of Spain and a protégé of former unified champion Sergio Martinez, was stepping in against a fighter who was expected to be his toughest test to date in Foster.
Both men came into the bout as ShoBox regulars, having fought multiple times on the prospect-lifting platform with different results.
Fernandez came in as the vaunted power puncher, while Foster had shown flashes of being a high-level boxer but had certainly left doubts with his losing performances on ShoBox.
Working with a small amount of real estate in the 16 foot ring, Foster began the fight circling, using his quickness and sharp jab to snap Fernandez’s neck back and maintain distance.
Fernandez, standing four inches taller, had to oddly work against a reach disadvantage against Foster and through the first half of the fight it proved to be some trouble for the Spanish fighter.
Foster continued moving and changing directions well throughout the next few rounds as he continuously slipped Fernandez’s big right hand.
Foster snapped Fernandez’s head back repeatedly with lead rights and strong jabs before evading anything Fernandez had to offer in return.
Before the start of Round 4, Fernandez told his corner that he felt he was losing the fight, but his trainer shot that talk down quickly, looking to motivate Fernandez to keep pressing the action and keep going forward.
But Fernandez’s hunch was correct, and by Round 5 Foster’s work had ringside commentator Raul Marquez stating that this was the best version of Foster that had ever fought on ShoBox.
Steve Farhood’s scorecard reflected the sentiments of Marquez as he had Foster pitching a shutout, four rounds to zero.
Interestingly enough, and a testament to his effective overall performance, Foster was outlanding Fernandez in power punches 26 of 78 to 16 of 123 through five rounds according to Sho Stats.
In Round 6, Foster finally became a bit more stationary, which gave Fernandez the opportunity to land a huge right hand flush on the chin.
Foster wobbled backwards a bit as the bell rang to end the round, but as the Round 7 began, it was evident that Fernandez had some much-needed added confidence.
But if Fernandez thought that his biggest punch of the fight was the beginning of the end for Foster or that he’d start to fade, he was met with a rude awakening as Foster continued to stick and move effectively as he finished the fight strong.
Foster dug deep in Rounds 8 and 9 and not only moved well, but also landed some vicious counterpunches which rocked Fernandez upstairs.
Even when Fernandez thought he had Foster trapped against the ropes, the American fighter would successfully turn Fernandez and crack him with the most meaningful punches of the round.
As the final bell sounded it seemed as though Foster had done more than enough to claim the unanimous-decision victory, but as Top Rank contender Jamel Herring reminded us via Twitter, the ShoBox judges oftentimes turn in some fishy scorecards.
Gotta watch these Shobox judges. They roll the dice scoring rounds.
— Jamel Herring (@JamelHerring) September 22, 2018
Luckily, tonight was not one of those off nights for the judges as the scores read 98-92 three times all in favor of Foster who picked up the WBC Silver Super Featherweight title in his upset victory.
Header photo by Showtime