Former unified world champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez sees big things for his protégé Jon “JonFer” Fernandez as the undefeated super featherweight prepares for his toughest test to date in O’Shaquie Foster in the headlining bout of “ShoBox: The New Generation,” Friday, Sept. 21 on Showtime at 9:45 p.m.
Martinez, known for his extensive career and impact inside the ring and now at the helm of Maravillabox Promotions, has managed Fernandez since 2015. Since his pro debut at only 19 years old, Fernandez (16-0, 14 KOs) has climbed the prospect rankings while keeping his unblemished record intact, knocking out 88% of his opponents along the way.
“With every fight, JonFer is a step closer to an opportunity to showcase his talent on the big stage,” Martinez said. “I think 2019 will be the year where we see him in a big fight against another top 10 opponent or challenging for a title.”
The 23-year-old Fernandez was named the No. 5 prospect in all of boxing on ESPN’s Top Prospects of 2017 list, and looks poised to challenge for a world title at 130 pounds in the near future.
“Foster is his toughest rival to date, so naturally I’m a little nervous,” Martinez said. “But I know JonFer has what it takes to get the win. I have a second fighter on the card, Carlos Ramos. I’m always a little nervous when my boxers fight. It’s normal.”
This Friday’s quadrupleheader features eight prospects boasting a combined record of 81-2-1 and 56 KOs. The telecast opens with James Wilkins (5-0, 5 KOs) taking on Misael Lopez (8-0, 4 KOs).
Also included on the card is a battle between undefeated featherweights Irvin Gonzalez Jr. (10-0, 9 KOs) and Carlos Ramos (9-0, 6 KOs), plus Brooklyn’s Wesley Ferrer (12-0-1, 7 KOs) colliding with undefeated lightweight Philadelphia prospect Steven Ortiz (8-0, 3 KOs).