Monday, July 15, 2024  |


O’Shaquie Foster made it to world title shot the hard way

Fighters Network

The path O’Shaquie Foster has taken to arrive at his world title bout has been something. From watching boxing while incarcerated to fighting on cards halfway around the world, Foster has indeed earned his shot at a world title belt.

Foster can fulfill his goal of winning a world title belt Saturday as he squares off against Rey Vargas at The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The 12-round bout, with the vacant WBC world junior lightweight title on the line, will headline a three-bout Showtime telecast (9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT).

Both fighters weighed in at 129.5 pounds at Friday’s weigh-in. Afterwards, both fighters shoved one another during the customary posing for the media before eventually being separated by their handlers. 

The 29-year-old (19-2, 11 knockouts), who resides in Houston, Texas, last fought on March 22, knocking down Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov once en route to a unanimous decision victory. The win solidified Foster’s mandatory challenger status for the WBC title. 

Foster has positioned himself to this point in his career after appearing on a handful of ShoBox cards over the last couple of years. One of his more-impressive victories was a unanimous decision over Jon Fernandez, who entered the fight as a highly-touted prospect in September 2017. 

The win came weeks after Foster was incarcerated for an unlawful possession of a firearm charge, which resulted in a sentence of probation.

After winning his last nine bouts, which includes knockout wins over Miguel ‘Mickey’ Roman and Jesus Bravo, Foster believes he is at the peak of his career. 

“My confidence never left after I lost a fight,” said Foster at Thursday’s press conference. “All I needed to do was focus and dedicate myself to my craft. I always felt like I was one of the most talented fighters. I just needed to put in the work. And that’s what we did.”

Foster will face a fighter in Vargas (36-0, 22 KOs), who resides in Otumba, Mexico, who has won world title belts in two different weight classes. In his last bout on July 11, which also took place at The Alamodome in San Antonio, Vargas defeated Mark Magsayo by split-decision to win the WBC world featherweight title.

Despite moving up in weight, Vargas will still have a height advantage over Foster. Vargas has fought quality opposition, but Foster is confident his skill-set and ring generalship will be too much for Vargas. 

“I’m not losing any sleep thinking about him,” said Foster, who is managed by Keith Mills and trained by Bobby Benton. “He can talk that talk, but he better know that I’m not Mark Magsayo or any of those guys he’s fought. He’s talking about what stance I’m going to use. I’m not worried about what he’s bringing. I know what I come to the table with. I’m gonna be sharp and show him what I’m really about. The strength and the speed is different. 

“He’s going to feel me. Whether it’s the first round or whatever round I stop him in, or if it goes all 12 rounds, he’s going to take a beating the whole time.”

A win by Foster would be another chapter in a long journey, which he hopes would lead to the possibility of unifying the division. 

Foster wants to make a statement at the expense of Vargas and put an exclamation point that he is the best fighter at 130 pounds. 

“I’d love to unify titles after a win on Saturday, but first, we have to send Rey back down to 126 pounds.

“I’m here to put on a show and prove to the world that O’Shaquie is here to stay.”

Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]