This was the win that O’Shaquie Foster needed to prove that he’s the real deal.

Chief among those he had to send that message—himself.

The red-hot WBC junior lightweight titlist escaped a dangerous road assignment with his reign still intact after a come-from-behind, twelfth-round knockout of Eduardo ‘Rocky’ Hernandez. Foster trailed on two scorecards after eleven rounds but twice dropped the heavy-handed Mexican contender en route to a dramatic stoppage victory atop an October 28 DAZN show from Cancun, Mexico.

“I said with Rey Vargas, I didn’t really feel it when I won the title,” Foster told Matchroom Boxing’s Lewis Ward during his post-fight, locker room interview. “This one, I felt it. I proved myself for real and showed everyone who I really am.

“Adversity, I’m here. You’re gonna have to walk through that fire with me.”

Foster (21-2, 12KOs) lodged the first successful defense of the WBC 130-pound title he claimed in a twelve-round decision win over Mexico’s Vargas this past February in San Antonio, Texas. Vargas was an unbeaten two-division and reigning WBC featherweight titleholder who unsuccessfully moved up in weight as Foster proved to be the more skilled boxer as he claimed his first major title.

The style matchup versus Hernandez (34-2, 31KOs) provided the 30-year-old from the greater Houston area with the opportunity to show more than just sound boxing skills. In fact, Foster predicted a knockout victory headed into the night, though most dismissed the claim made by a boxer who’d only stopped exactly 50 percent of his 22 opponents to that point.

Foster reached a point where he didn’t have a choice. WBC’s open scoring policy revealed that he was down after eight rounds and hadn’t won a single round on the criminally inept scorecard turned in by Nicolas Hidalgo. The silver lining was that it provided the visiting American to prove his resourcefulness under such a setting.

“I showed them that I could get him out of there,” noted Foster, who extended his current twelve-fight win streak. “My skills outweigh my power so they try to discredit it. I knew I was going to stop him late.

“Even in training camp, I kept putting all my sparring partners down. We knew what we were coming for. It was fun.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox