New Faces: Jon Fernandez
Hometown: Bilbao, Spain.
Weight class: Junior lightweight
Height: 5-feet-11 (180 cm)
Amateur record: 69-9
Turned pro: 2015
Pro record: 16-0 (14 knockouts)
Trainer: Tinín Rodríguez
Manager: Sergio Martinez
Promoter: DiBella Entertainment
Best night of pro career: Fernandez has had three special nights since turning professional three years ago.
“When I turned pro [a four-round decision over Sidney Cortes], when I won my first pro title [WBC Youth via fourth-round stoppage over Mikael Mkrchyan] and when I fought for the first time in the United States [a fifth-round stoppage over Nacliff Martinez],” Fernandez told The Ring through Oscar Zardain. “But I’m sure in the future I’m going to have more special nights.”
Worst night of pro career: Fernandez has won all 16 bouts to date, with 14 inside the distance, and has largely had things his own way. He is pleased with how his career has gone to this point.
Next fight: Fernandez made quite the impression on ShoBox last June, knocking out Juan Reyes in two rounds. Since then he’s stopped all his three opponents back in Spain, filling time while he awaited an invitation to come back.
That opportunity was offered to him over the summer, and he returns against O’Shaquie Foster in Shawnee, Oklahoma, in a 10-round bout this Friday.
“O’Shaquie Foster is a very good fighter and, although he was the underdog, he put on a great performance by beating Frankie De Alba in his last fight,” Fernandez said. “This is a big fight for both of us. I’m grateful to Lou DiBella for this opportunity to show why I’m one of the best prospects in boxing.”
Foster (13-2, 8 knockouts) will be appearing on ShoBox for the fourth time. The 24-year-old Texan was a decorated amateur who lost to Joseph Diaz in the Olympic trials before turning professional in September 2012. His final amateur record was 162-18.
Why he’s a prospect: Fernandez was a decent amateur domestically, winning the national title before turning professional. He had previously won silver and bronze in national tournaments.
The Spaniard has gained crucial experience sparring with former two-weight world champion Carl Frampton.
“I sparred with Carl Frampton in London and Vegas,” Fernandez said. “I was part of his team for the rematch against Leo Santa Cruz. I spent three weeks with him in his training camp in Las Vegas.”
Fernandez feels his biggest strength is his combinations and versatility. It should also be noted that he has impressive power, boasting an 88 percent knockout ratio.
Former two-weight world champion Sergio Martinez feels Fernandez, who is ranked No. 10 by the WBC, has a very high ceiling as a fighter and is one of the best, if not the best, fighters in Spain.
“Jon is very, very good,” Martinez said. “I think that he can be a superstar in the 130-pound division and fight for world titles in other divisions too. Probably he is the best [active fighter in Spain], but we have a lot of good prospects: Sergio García, Kerman Lejarraga or Carlos Ramos.”
Why he’s a suspect: “JonFer” looks the part and his team has good connections, but he may need to make a more permanent move Stateside to source better sparring.
How will he deal with a slick boxer who is able to hit and move?
Can he become his country’s 12th world champion? He would be the first since Kiko Martinez lost his IBF 122-pound strap to Frampton in 2014.
Fernandez feels there are a couple of things that would aid his development. “I need to be clever at closing the distance,” he said. “Sometimes I like to go to war and it’s not necessary.”
Storylines: Fernandez was born and raised in the industrial port city of Bilbao in the north of Spain. He is the oldest of four children. As a youngster he enjoyed the usual things.
“Like all school children, I liked playing soccer in the streets with my friends,” said the talented young prospect.
But when Fernandez was 14 years old, he stopped playing his country’s favorite pastime and took up boxing.
“I started to train in a kickboxing gym because my uncle is a pro kickboxer,” he explained. “My first day was amazing because I felt something special for that sport. And nowadays, boxing is my life.”
He has a handful of idols including Arturo Gatti, Oscar De La Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez and of course, his promoter, Sergio Martinez.
Fernandez is married and enjoys running and visiting the cinema.
June 29 – Henry Maldonado – TKO 3
April 20 – Juan Huertas – TKO 3
Sept. 29 – Alexander Podolsky – RTD 6
June 9 – Juan Reyes – KO 2
Apr. 21 – Ismael Garcia – RTD 2
Feb. 10 – Ernesto Garza III – TKO 3
Oct. 8 – Mikael Mkrchyan – TKO 4
Sept. 1 – Nacliff Martinez – TKO 5
April 16 – Giorgi Gachechiladze – TKO 2
March 12 – Daniel Calzado – TKO 3
Feb. 19 – Reynaldo Mora – TKO 3
Dec. 11 – Anzor Gamgebeli – KO 1
Oct. 2 – Ruben Garcia – KO 1
June 5 – Vasile Gigel – KO 1
May 15 – Jesus Sanchez – UD 4
March 27 – Sidney Cortes – UD 4
You can order the current issue, which is on newsstands, or back issues from our subscribe page.