O’Shaquie Foster has been avoided by enough of his divisional peers to where he occasionally has to do a double take when one actually accepts a fight offer.
The matchup lined up for this weekend was ordered by the WBC, whose junior lightweight title he claimed earlier this year. Mandatory challenger Eduardo ‘Rocky’ Hernandez and his team eventually came around and agreed to proceed with the Mexican’s first title challenge.
“I’m definitely surprised that Rocky came around to this fight,” Foster told BoxingScene.com. “His name came across a couple of years ago. We were both signed to Probellum at the same time. We asked them about making that fight before I won the title.
“He’s the mandatory, so I guess it was either take this fight or give up that spot. But he took the fight, so it’s cool. I’m surprised but I’m glad we’re here.”
Foster-Hernandez headlines a DAZN show this Saturday from Poliforum Benito Juarez in Cancun, Mexico. Fittingly, Foster (20-2, 11KOs) has to hit the road for the bout, which will mark the first defense of the WBC 130-pound title. The 30-year-old Houston native won the belt in a twelve-round, unanimous decision over then-unbeaten Rey Vargas on February 11 in San Antonio.
At the time, Mexico City’s Hernandez (34-1, 31KOs) and his team were in court to break free from his promotional contract. He and Foster were both signed to Probellum, which folded shop earlier this year. Select fighters and the company’s remaining assets were transferred over to Disrupt Boxing, with Hernandez trapped among that bunch before he was able to get his full release.
It was around that time that Foster revisited his desire to face the bruising knockout artist, who has yet to see the seventh round through 35 pro fights. Hernandez was instead granted a rust-shaking appearance in July after he signed a promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing, who will present Saturday’s show.
“Even after I won the title, we were trying to make the fight this summer,” noted Foster, who has won eleven straight bouts. “He took that other fight instead. “But we’re here now, so it’s all good. I’ve always been ready for this fight and can’t wait to get in the ring with him.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox