The anticipated fight between Rey Vargas and O’Shaquie Foster now has a date, as Mike Coppinger of ESPN.com reports that the bout will headline Showtime’s Feb. 11 card from San Antonio’s Alamodome.
Vargas and Foster will be fighting for the vacant WBC junior lightweight (130 lbs) title. The previously-reported fight between Subriel Matias and Jeremias Ponce, for the vacant IBF junior welterweight (140 lbs) title, is also still on the show, making for a nice combination of matchups.
The 32-year-old Vargas (36-0, 22 KO) will be looking to become a three-division titlist with a win. He won the WBC title at 122 lbs in Feb. 2017, going to England to beat Gavin McDonnell, and made five successful defenses between Aug. 2017 and July 2019.
Vargas moved from Golden Boy to the Premier Boxing Champions stable after that, and had a layoff of just under two-and-a-half years before moving up to featherweight in Nov. 2021, and took the WBC title in that division from Mark Magsayo in July of this year, also at the Alamodome.
There was talk of Vargas unifying at featherweight with Leo Santa Cruz, but that all fell apart, and instead he moves up seeking to grab one of the belts vacated by Shakur Stevenson in September.
Foster (19-2, 11 KO) had a couple of ShoBox setbacks in 2015 and 2016, but has rallied with nine straight wins, and has looked good in some notable fights, including a March win over Muhammad Yaqubov on a Probellum card in Dubai.
Now 29, Foster looks to be in the best groove of his pro career, and as ready as he’s going to get to make a run at his first world title. Vargas will be a tough matchup, but Foster is a natural 130 lber, and Vargas isn’t, and it’s also a fairly rare matchup where Vargas won’t have a pretty big reach advantage, at least on paper.
(If you look at their BoxRec numbers, maybe disregard; they have Vargas listed at 5’7½”, and he’s significantly taller than that, around 5’10” or so, and a reach probably closer to 72” than 70½”, but really we’re all going by what someone tells us.)