Showtime Boxing returns to the Alamodome this Saturday, February 11th. The main event features WBC featherweight champion Rey Vargas (36-0, 22 KOs), who is moving up in weight to take on O’Shaquie Foster (19-2, 11 KO) for the WBC super-featherweight championship vacated by Shakur Stevenson.
Rey Vargas is a 32-year-old, two-weight division world champion from Mexico. He’ll make his second straight appearance in the Alamodome. After spending most of his career in the super-bantamweight division (Vargas made five defenses of the WBC super-bantamweight title) he decided to test the waters at featherweight.
In July 2022, Vargas won the WBC featherweight crown over hard-punching Mark Magsayo by split decision. He’ll now be looking for a third title in as many divisions when he goes after the super featherweight title this Saturday.
Foster was an alternate on the 2012 US Olympic boxing team. The 29-year-old will be fighting for a world title only 300 miles away from his hometown of Orange, Texas.
Foster has won nine straight fights. He stayed active through 2019, but has fought just twice since December of that year. He most recently fought in March of 2022, when he beat Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov in an eliminator to get the title shot that is in front of him.
Vargas will be looking to use volume and his two-inch height advantage to keep Foster on the outside. In his last fight against Magsayo, Vargas was dropped in the ninth round and cut above the eye from a head butt.
Foster fights in the pocket and loves to be a counter-puncher. Against Miguel Roman, he countered Roman to score a knockdown. After dropping Roman, Foster continued to break him down until ultimately getting the stoppage late in the fight.
This is an excellent test for both men and one that fans should look forward to on the early slate of announced fights this year. It will be interesting to see if Vargas can use his height and volume to overwhelm the shorter Foster, or if Foster can counter-punch and pick apart Vargas as he’s done in his last two bouts.
This is a very close fight in my opinion. Oddsmakers have this pretty close as well, all things considered. Vargas is priced at -220 as the favorite, while Foster is priced at +170.
I want to lean on the experience of Vargas, but also feel that Foster has a really good ceiling. This may be the start of his peak.
I’m going to lean into the experience advantage. My prediction is Vargas by decision.
Pick: Vargas by decision (-125 at DraftKings Sportsbook)