O’Shaquie Foster finally caught the big break his boxing career has long deserved.
A masterful performance by the Houston native paved the way for a 9th round stoppage over former title challenger Miguel ‘Mickey’ Roman. in their NBC Sports Network-televised headliner Thursday evening at Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood.
Foster floored Roman twice, the latter followed by a volley of punches forcing referee Jack Reiss to stop the contest at 0:58 of round nine.
The main event was marred in controversy in the 24 hours leading up to fight night. Bobby Benton, Foster’s longtime trainer discovered the lack of padding in the selected gloves Roman planned to don for the bout. The matter was immediately brought to the attention of the California State Athletic Commission, who confiscated both the tainted gloves and Roman’s back-up set, instead issuing the Mexican slugger a new pair.
Once the bell rang, it was business as usual for Foster who struck first. A right hand by the streaking junior lightweight sent Roman to the canvas midway through the opening round. Roman barely beat the count but made it to his feet and was able to finish the round.
Foster continued to control the real estate in round two. The 27-year old—who served as an alternate on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team which competed in London—kept the action at close quarters, going against the perceived scouting report that had him sticking and moving. Instead, Foster was determined to make a fight out of it, confident that he could handle the incoming and outpunch the veteran slugger.
Roman slowly began to find his way into the fight in round three. Foster remained in control but was also forced to guard against the incoming as Roman was able to fire off right hands. The trend carried over into round four, with Foster still dictating the pace but Roman seeking to work in overhand rights and left hooks to the body when on the inside.
Foster began to employ more movement at the start of the second half, never to the point of running but just enough to make Roman work harder to find him. Foster never shied away from trading with necessary, otherwise using subtle movement to get Roman to follow him around the ring.
Roman closed the gap in round seven, occasionally by force and other times simply when Foster planted his feet and chose to trade. His aggression was well-intentioned, but largely ineffective. Foster consistently beat Roman to the punch, landing right hands from the orthodox stance and hooks when switching to southpaw.
Action slowed a touch in round eight, working to Roman’s advantage even if not to convincingly win the frame. The 35-year old was still getting picked off with clean shots from Foster, though able to wade through the murky waters to connect with a right hand along the ropes and a couple of left hooks downstairs.
Foster could have easily boxed his way down the stretch but instead chose to put an exclamation point on his performance.
Roman was sent to the canvas for a second time, dropped early in round nine courtesy of a left hand. An eight count was issued along with an in-ring sobriety test before Roman was permitted to continue. Foster went on the attack, throwing right hands and left hooks while his foe was trapped along the ropes. Reiss had seen enough and jumped in to stop the contest.
Foster improves to 18-2 (11KOs) with the win, his eighth straight since a disputed split decision defeat in 2016.
Roman falls to 62-14 (47KOs), snapping a two-fight win streak in the process.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox