By Peter Lim
The latest installment of ShoBox: The Next Generation will see undefeated 130-pounder Jon Fernandez (16-0, 14 KOs) of Spain take on O’Shaquie Foster (13-2, 8 KOs) of Texas in the main event of a quadrupleheader. The showdown, at the Firelake Arena in Shawnee, OK, will be for Fernandez’s WBC silver super featherweight belt.
Both fighters will be making their third appearance on ShoBox. Despite Fernandez’s better record and impressive 87.5 percent knockout rate, Foster said he does not feel like the underdog.
“We chose the fight. It wasn’t like I had to take the fight,” Foster said. “I don’t see it as me being the B-side. I see it as being an even fight.”
But Foster, 24, is not taking the 22-year-old Fernandez lightly and knows he will be up against a young, hungry up-and-comer who has yet to taste defeat in the pro ranks. A switch-hitter, Foster said he has the versatility, skill set and experience to offset and dismantle the aggressive, power-punching Spaniard.
“He’s a tall fighter who likes to come forward. He’s a good boxer and highly touted. I watched a couple of his fights and he looks like he’s got decent power,” Foster said.
“I just need to be me, stay loose and box him, use my legs and keep my jab on him. If I switch (southpaw) and I see he’s confused, I’m going to stay that way. But if not, we’re going to adjust to however he comes.”
ShoBox has traditionally been a stepping stone for fighters to leapfrog from prospect to contender and even titleholder. An ultra-competitive stage, it is typically geared towards showcasing great competitive fights rather than great fighters. The series has produced 77 world titleholders to date. But on the flip side of the equation, 176 fighters have lost their undefeated records on the series.
“Let’s make it 177,” Foster said.
“I definitely feel that it opens a lot of opportunities. It’ll place me in the top 10 and hopefully a title shot is in the near future.”
An alternate for the 2012 US Olympic boxing team, Foster attributes the two losses on his record to the lack of an adequate support system while living in his hometown of Orange, Texas, early in his career. He has since relocated to Houston where he is mentored by Bobby Benton and Aaron Navarro at the Main Boxing Gym.
“It was a combination of not being under the right management and the right team and not taking boxing as seriously as I was supposed to in the beginning,” Foster said. “I was in and out of the gym a lot. I didn’t have a gym in my hometown so I had to adjust to just training myself. It was a lot of ups and downs being from a small city. When my gym closed I didn’t have another option to go to.”