ShoBox results: O’Shaquie Foster shocks Jon Fernandez
O’Shaquie Foster upset Jon Fernandez on Friday night by wide unanimous decision win and the Houston, Texas, native pulled it off in a way in which you might ask if this was even a spoiler to begin with.
The junior lightweight contest was the main event of a “ShoBox: The New Generation” card, from the Firelake Arena in Shawnee, Oklahoma, televised on Showtime.
Foster, 14-2 (8), came into the fight with a new trainer and preconceived notion that he’d be willing to trade the way he did in his three prior appearances on ShoBox. Instead, along with Bobby Benton in his corner, Foster devised and executed a perfect game plan against a power-punching prospect, who was fancied by the lead promoter of the show, DiBella Entertainment.
Fernandez, 16-1 (14), a 23-year-old from Bilbao, Spain, provided three exciting knockouts in his appearances on the network but signs of him having trouble with a mobile opponent were evident as early as round two. There, Foster used the outskirts of the ring to get away from the oncoming attack, both changing direction and shooting accurate lead lefts i the process. They weren’t Foster’s hardest shots but timed well-enough to snap the head back of an oncoming Fernandez, who showed signs of frustration by the end of the third round.
Unable to cut the ring off or even match the dozen or so shots landed on him throughout every round, at the midway point, Fernandez showed real signs of life at the end of round six, when he caught Foster with a big right hand. It was undoubtedly the biggest shot landed in the fight – wobbling Foster as he stepped backward – but it came in the waning seconds of the sixth and there was no time for a true follow-up. Foster slowed his movement down in the seventh, in which it looked like Fernandez was starting to take control of the fight with some very good work to the body. All that changed in the eighth round, however, when Foster got his timing back and proceeded to land his biggest shots of the fight with both hands.
Foster, 25, was not only tough for Fernandez to catch but was effective on the move, throwing single shots with the left hand and getting out of harm’s way most of the time. Three times over the course of the 10 rounds, Fernandez could be seen with his torso through the middle ropes after wildly missing and those instances were a small ode to a performance that warranted three identical scores of 98-92 in Foster’s favor.
Irvin Gonzalez outworked Carlos Ramos to a clear unanimous decision (80-72, 79-73, 78-74) victory, capping off three undercard bouts that featured six unbeaten prospects on Showtime’s developmental series.
Gonzalez, 11-0 (9), won the fight being the sole aggressor, over the course of eight rounds. Ramos, 9-1 (6), gave him trouble early on by being slippery and shooting well-timed counter left hands from his southpaw stance, which sometimes switched to orthodox in order to keep Gonzalez missing forn the first few rounds. While it worked early on, Ramos couldn’t sustain enough volume on offense to keep up with Gonzalez’s work rate and, although it sometimes seemed like he’d land the best punch of the round, Ramos’ counters were too few and far between to be convincing.
Gonzalez, Worcester, Massachusetts, started to get some of the action he sought all night in the sixth round and got the better of Ramos in those exchanges. The tall featherweight prospect commanded the fight afterward with his ability to keep Ramos at bay with a one-two, even stunning the Ecuadorian by the end of the contest for good measure.
Steven Ortiz edged Wesley Ferrer with a majority-decision (78-74, 77-75, 76-76) after an action-less eight-round contest between unbeaten lightweights.
Ortiz, 9-0 (3), separated himself from Ferrer, starting in the fourth round with his body work. It was pretty much the only effective strategy in this evenly-matched affair that had plenty of messy moments in which referee Laurence Cole had to untangle the featherweights. Ferrer, 12-1-1 (7), hadn’t fought since last December and it showed, as he couldn’t get into any real offensive rhythm.
In the opening bout of the Showtime telecast, Misael Lopez entered the ring first against fellow unbeaten prospect James Wilkins but walked out the unanimous decision (79-72, 76-75, 77-74) winner after out-boxing his counterpart for the extent of eight junior lightweight rounds.
Fighting out of Denver, Colorado, Lopez, 9-0 (4), had the composure necessary to overcome a fiery amateur standout with a perfect KO percentage. Wilkins, 22, had plenty of gusto in the build-up, which included an intense stare down at Thursday’s weigh-in, but Lopez started off the fight with quick combinations and effective movement that had the boisterous New Yorker pressing a bit too much.
Wilkins, of Staten Island, wasn’t exactly aggressive to start but had a frenetic pace that didn’t look comfortable. After getting out-landed and out-boxed in the opening round, Wilkins was straying low blows at Lopez, giving him time to rest his legs and warranting a quick warning from referee Mike England. They started finding themselves in heated exchanges in round three but Lopez figured out by then that he could fight fire with fire. Wilkins started to bend in the fourth by backing up from the combinations and in the fifth, was rightfully docked a point for another low blow.
In the sixth, a left hand buckled Wilkins, 5-1 (5), and it seemed like the fight was getting out of reach. That was until the end of the seventh round when Wilkins scored what should’ve been a knockdown but England missed Lopez’s glove touch the canvas. Wilkins couldn’t find another flush right hand needed to drastically change the course of the fight, which ended with Lopez raising his arms in jubilation before the final bell.