By Vladimir Lik
Hard-hitting Jon Fernandez (14-0, 12 knockouts) will make his New York City debut on Wednesday night when he takes on Maryland’s Fatiou Fassinou (28-8-3, 15 KOs) as a featured bout in Lou DiBella’s latest installment of the popular Broadway Boxing series, at BB King Blues Club & Grill, in Manhattan’s Times Square.
After beginning his career with a two decision victories, the 22-year-old junior lightweight prospect from Bilboa, Pais Vasco has strung together a streak of 12 consecutive knockouts, including a sensational one-punch drubbing of Juan Reyes. That win was one of two appearances Fernandez made on Showtime’s “ShoBox: The Next Generation” in 2017.
Fernandez claims he doesn’t feel the pressure of having to follow up his performance from the Reyes bout with something equally spectacular.
“I know I can hit very hard,” Fernandez said through an interpreter, by phone, as he was preparing to make the trip from Spain to New York. “I throw more punches than my opponents and I am taller, so I don’t have to look for a knockout but, if my opponent gets weak, I will attack like a shark.”
Fernandez is co-promoted by both DiBella and former world middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, who is now mentoring the young fighter as he climbs up the rankings with one impressive stoppage victory after another.
“Sergio has the experience of fighting on the highest level and that’s the kind of support I need,” Fernandez went on to say. “I grew up watching Sergio’s fights and now I am privileged to have him on my team.”
Fernandez said one of the best pieces of advice he received from Martinez was to take his time in the sport and to enjoy every minute of the ride.
“Sergio keeps telling me to have fun and that’s very important,” Fernandez said.
Fernandez remembers the first time he actually met Martinez was in New York, when he signed the promotional contract with DiBella.
“It was not only my first time in New York but my first time ever leaving Spain,” Fernandez recalls. “I only know of New York what I see in the movies and I was excited to see it was exactly as I imagined, with the people and the traffic and the excitement. It’s like a movie.”
Fernandez has been in camp since the second half of last year, as he was expecting a bout in December, so preparations for the bout with Fassinou have taken longer than usual.
“It’s important to get a lot of rest because, while I am still young, I also know I have a long career ahead of me,” Fernandez said. “I take my training camp very serious and the sparring I get in camp is very critical part of my process.”
Fernandez believes he can learn a lot about himself when sparring other fighters, including the time he was invited to join Carl Frampton’s camp in preparation for his rematch against Leo Santa Cruz.
“Some people say my style resembles Santa Cruz because we both throw a lot of punches and hit very hard,” Fernandez said.
While in camp with Frampton, Fernandez took the opportunity to study and learn from a fighter who is in a position where Fernandez aspires to be.
“It was important for me to see how a world champion prepares and to test what level I am currently at,” Fernandez said. “I also saw what I needed to improve upon, such as my defense and how to move and control the fight with the pace I want to work in not my opponent’s.”
Fernandez is well aware what will happen if he continues knocking his opponents out but insists, at this time, his only concern is leaving New York with a victory in whichever fashion it comes.
“I will focus on coming out to do what I do best and then I will have my opportunity to hurt my opponent,” Fernandez said excitedly. “I am so thankful to Lou DiBella and to Sergio for putting me on this card. My only goal is to put on a great show for the boxing fans in New York and to come away with a victory.
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Source:: The Ring – Boxing