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O’Shaquie Foster shocks unbeaten Jon Fernandez in ShoBox main event

Junior lightweight O'Shaquie Foster (right) fires a southpaw jab at unbeaten Spaniard Jon Fernandez. Photo by Dave Mandel/SHOWTIME
21
Sep

O’Shaquie Foster was able to do that rare thing Friday night. He was able to be in two places at once. He was there—and then he wasn’t. Each time Jon Fernandez thought he had Foster in his sites and reared his right hand back to fire a punch, the Spaniard often hit nothing but Oklahoma air.

That’s because Foster, from Houston, Texas, wasn’t there.

Making his fourth appearance on Showtime’s “ShoBox: The New Generation,” from the Firelake Arena, in Shawnee, Oklahoma, Foster easily fought his best fight against his most challenging opponent—and it showed.

Foster (14-2, 8 knockouts) may have redeemed his career with a 10-round junior lightweight upset over the previously unbeaten Jon Fernandez (16-1, 14 KOs).

Foster had shown promise. But the fighter people expected to see sometimes wasn’t there. There was no question he was there Friday night on national TV.

“I did need this, I had to show people who I really am and this puts me back in the picture,” Foster said. “I had to focus and put all of the bad habits I had behind me, get away from the people and the bad activity and regain focus to show everybody what I can do.

“This win will put people on notice. I won’t be overlooked anymore. I didn’t want [Fernandez] to sit down on any punches. I wanted to keep his move, and move laterally every time he came close. He couldn’t just punch, and the lateral movement kept him off balance.”

Judges David Sutherland, Sarah Atwood and Jesse Reyes all saw the same fight, each one scoring it 98-92 for Foster.

Foster finished up connecting on 145 of 407 total punches (36%), 49 of 162 jabs (30%) and 96 of 245 power shots (39%). In contrast, Fernandez lands 102 of 619 total punches (16%), 13 of 259 jabs (5%) and 89 of 360 power shots (25%).

Photo by Dave Mandel/SHOWTIME

Foster appeared to dominate the first five rounds. Through five, Foster connected on 55 of 165 (33%) total punches, which broke down to 29 of 87 jabs (33%) and 26 of 78 power shots (33%), while Fernandez was still trying to figure out Foster, connecting on a mere nine of 140 jabs (6%), 16 of 123 power shots (13%) for a total of just 25 punches landed of 263 tried (10%).

Each time Fernandez came close, Foster poked him with a jab, snapping his head back. When Fernandez tried crowding Foster, he quickly moved out of harm’s way before Fernandez could land anything.

“The goal is to get back in the ring again before the end of the year,” Foster said.

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In the eight-round featherweight co-feature, Irvin Gonzalez (11-0, 9 KOs) remained undefeated with a unanimous decision over Carlos Ramos (9-1, 6 KOs), in what Gonzalez toughest test to date.

Ramos started well, and won the first round. After that, Gonzalez settled and was more active. Fighting out of a southpaw stance, he knocked Ramos off balance in the second, and got stronger as the bout progressed. Every once in a while, Ramos would sneak in a straight left, but after the fourth round, his production level dropped.

In the latter portion of the fight, Gonzalez resorted back to his orthodox style.

Photo by Dave Mandel/SHOWTIME

Gonzalez landed 72 of 464 (16%) total punches, 17 of 206 (8%) jabs and 55 of 258 (21%) power shots. Ramos connected on 38 of 225 (17%) total shots, 10 of 90 jabs (11%) and 28 of 135 power shots (21%).

Ramos “was an awkward fighter, I didn’t expect him to be that awkward,” Gonzalez admitted. “I expected him to come forward and throw that overhand left hand that he has. He had a good defense and he seemed cool, and he was waiting for me to throw so he could counter.

“After the first few rounds, I figured him out. In the last few rounds, I hit perfectly fine after I figured him out. I think I learned a lot from this fight. This was a big learning experience for me.

“I’m naturally orthodox, but when I kept switching to southpaw, I kept hitting him with the overhand left. I do think I switched southpaw too much in this fight, but when I was [standing] orthodox, I was using the jab for distance. I should have pumped the jab a lot more than I did.”

On the TV undercard, rangy lightweight Steven Ortiz (9-0, 3 KOs) kept his record spotless with an eight-round, majority-decision over Wesley Ferrer (12-1-1, 7 KOs). Judge Henry Gueary had it even at 76-76, which was understandable, though he was overruled by judges Henry Ellick (77-75) and Mike Bower (78-74).

Neither fighter was willing to relinquish any space, choosing to stay inside and slug.

Ortiz landed 127 of 428 punches (30%), landing 28 of 116 jabs (24%) and 99 of 312 power shots (32%) to Ferrer’s total of 115 of 388 connects (30%), 22 of 182 jabs (12%) and 93 of 206 (45%) power shots.

In an eight-round junior lightweight bout, Misael Lopez (9-0, 4 KOs) proved to be the superior fighter over James Wilkins (5-1, 5 KOs) by unanimous decision. Wilkins was deducted a point in the fifth by referee Mike England. Wilkins’ pressure style worked, though sporadically. His best round was arguably the third, though overall, Lopez proved to be the faster, more active fighter.

Judge Sarah Atwood had it 79-72 for Lopez, as did judges David Sutherland (77-74) and Tim Tallchief (76-75).

Lopez connected on 249-790 (32%) total shots, 36-162 (22%) jabs and 213-628 (34%) power punches, while Wilkins’ numbers read lower, landing 132 of 530 (25%) total shots, 17 of 162 (10%) jabs and 115 of 367 (31%) power shots.

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