Rey Vargas vs O’Shaquie Foster now has an official two-fight undercard for their Feb. 11 Showtime main event.
Mario Barrios will face Jovanie Santiago in a 10-round welterweight bout, and there’s a really interesting heavyweight clash between Lenier Pero and Viktor Faust that will open the show, also set for 10 rounds.
The 27-year-old Barrios (26-2, 17 KO) is a former secondary titleholder at 140 lbs, but is coming off of two straight losses at high level to Gervonta “Tank” Davis and Keith Thurman. The loss to Davis was at 140, an 11th round stoppage, and Thurman beat Barrios at 147 by wide decision.
Santiago (14-2, 10 KO) has also lost two straight, dropping a decision at welterweight to Adrien Broner in early 2021, and then getting stopped after six rounds by Gary Antuanne Russell at 140, three months later. He had an argument for the cards against Broner in a dreadful fight, but Russell dominated him.
It’s very much must-win for both guys in terms of either of them wanting to do more than be listed as “an opponent,” at least short-term.
Pero (8-0, 5 KO) is a 30-year-old Cuban southpaw, a decorated amateur who fought at the 2016 Olympics, where he was stopped by Filip Hrgovic in the super heavyweight quarterfinals. He turned pro in mid-2019 and has beaten up on way over-matched opposition thus far.
Faust (11-0, 7 KO) was also a strange amateur, competing for Ukraine, and is also 30. He’s had somewhat better tests as a pro than Pero, but both guys are semi-mysterious coming into this one, and it’s a cool proving ground sort of matchup. The winner will be seen as a contender on the rise.
The Vargas vs Foster main event is a 12-round bout for the vacant WBC junior lightweight title.