Two-time titleholder Rey Vargas and O’Shaquie Foster will fight for a vacant 130-pound title Saturday night on Showtime from the Alamodome in San Antonio.
REY VARGAS (36-0, 22 KOS) VS. O’SHAQUIE FOSTER (19-2, 11 KOS)
Date: Saturday, Feb. 11
Time: 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT (main event later in show)
Where: Alamodome, San Antonio
Division: Junior lightweights (130 pounds)
At stake: Vacant WBC title
Pound-for-pound ranking: None
Odds: Vargas 2-1 favorite (average of multiple outlets)
Also on the card: Mario Barrios vs. Jovanie Santiago, welterweights; Lenier Pero vs. Viktor Faust, heavyweights
Prediction: Vargas UD
Background: Vargas is back in full gear after a two-year layoff between 2019 and 2021, in part the result of a broken leg suffered during a training run. The 32-year-old Mexican, a former 122-pound titleholder, returned at 126 and nearly shut out Leonard Baez in November 2011 and then defeated then-WBC champ Mark Magsayo by a split decision to become a two-division titleholder in July of last year. Now he’s going for a third even though he says 126 is his natural weight. Vargas is a polished technician and had knockout power at 122 but his two fights at 126 went the distance. We’ll see whether he can hurt the naturally bigger Foster at 130. The 29-year-old Foster, a top U.S. amateur a decade ago, also is good technician but is stepping up in opposition for what is his first opportunity to fight for a major world title. The Houston fighter hit some speed bumps in 2015 and 2016, when he lost two of four fights. He then made some changes in his camp and hasn’t lost since. He delivered arguably his biggest victory when he stopped veteran Miguel Roman in nine rounds in November 2020. He then easily outpointed then-unbeaten Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov in his most recent fight, in March of last year, to earn a shot at the title.