Foster hands Vargas his first loss, wins vacant title

Before the bout, there were some people that felt Rey Vargas would be a three division world champion. O’Shaquie Foster had other plans.

Foster outboxed Vargas in the first half of the fight and was the aggressor in the championship rounds to score a unanimous decision victory to win the WBC super featherweight title in San Antonio. The judges had it 116-112, 117-111 and 119-109 in favor of the fighter from Orange, Texas.

At the opening round, Foster landed the jab often to throw off the timing of Vargas and make him tentative. There was a lot of feints by Vargas to attempt to get his punches going but Foster was the one who used his speed to land a number of punches on Vargas and also avoid many of Vargas’s punches. According to CompuBox, Foster threw 101 more punches than Vargas and landed 43 more shots. Foster out-landed Vargas 32-10 in the last three rounds to separate himself from the 32 year old from Mexico City. It was thought that Foster would utilize the southpaw style in the fight, as he has done so for many of his previous bouts. However, his success at orthodox allowed him to not switch stances during the fight.

“I can’t put (this win) into words,” Foster said in the ring afterward. “I know my mom, my uncle, my grandpa, they are all looking down on me.”

O’Shaquie lost his mother to cancer when he was 12. He has responded from multiple hardships in his life to get to the point that he is now – a world champion.

“I have a great team around me. Getting away from the distractions and preparing myself mentally and physically. My preparation was very important. I saw a lot of tape. I threw combinations. I knew that he counter reacted to previous opponents. I tried to switch up my technique.”

Foster lands a left on Vargas during their bout for the vacant WBC super featherweight title. Photo by Amanda Westcott of Showtime

“My coaches kept telling me to pick it up, we are ready to go. We can’t get them out, but I felt good in the later rounds. I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t a close fight. I didn’t think it was close. My coaches kept telling me not to let off the gas.”

Vargas felt that he did enough to have the decision in his favor.

“I respect the judges, but I think this decision was not fair,” Vargas said in the ring. “I don’t agree with it, but I have to respect it. I thought it was much closer than they saw. The weight difference may have affected me tonight.”

“There was a headbutt at the beginning of the fight that affected my sight for a second, but I recovered quickly. I thank all the fans that came out to support me.”

As a result of the loss, Vargas will move back down to 126 where he is the WBC champion. For Foster, he feels that he is ready to face the top fighters in the division.

“I’d love to unify [the division]. I’ll face anybody.”

Cover photo by Amanda Westcott of Showtime


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