Undefeated two-division champion Rey Vargas and top 130-pound contender O’Shaquie Foster squared off and exchanged verbal barbs at Thursday’s final press conference before they meet for the vacant WBC Super Featherweight World Championship this Saturday, February 11 live on SHOWTIME from the Alamodome in San Antonio in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
The back and forth between main event combatants saw Vargas suggest that Foster has lost sleep from the stress of having to prepare for him, with Foster countering that he’s going to send Vargas back down to featherweight after their showdown.
The press conference also featured former champion and San Antonio native Mario “El Azteca” Barrios and Puerto Rico’s Jovanie Santiago, who meet in the 10-round welterweight co-main event, plus hard-hitting unbeaten heavyweights Lenier Peró and Viktor Faust, who kick off the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m.
PT in a 10-round matchup. The SHOWTIME BOXING COUNTDOWN show starts at 6:45 p.m. ET/3:45 p.m. PT and contains a four-bout streaming presentation on the SHOWTIME SPORTS YouTube channel and SHOWTIME Boxing Facebook page.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, are on sale now and are available through Ticketmaster.com.
Having already captured titles at 122 and 126 pounds, including the WBC Featherweight Title he still holds, Vargas will look to put his name alongside fellow Mexican greats including Julio Cesar Chavez, Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera as three-division champions from the boxing-rich nation. He faces stiff competition in Foster, who’s won nine consecutive bouts heading into Saturday night as he seeks to become the first world champion from his native Orange, Texas.
Here is what the fighters had to say Thursday from The Westin San Antonio North:
“The Alamodome has seen me crowned champion before and they’re going to see it again on Saturday night.
“It’s a big goal of mine to become part of the club of three-division champions. I want to be one of the best that there’s ever been in Mexican boxing.
“O’Shaquie is a quality fighter with a strong Olympic style. But I’ve fought opponents with all different styles. What I’ve noticed from watching O’Shaquie is that he’s kind of veered from his path and started to do some things differently ahead of this fight. It makes me think he’s feeling the pressure of this fight.
“He knows that I’m not just anybody and I know he’s lost sleep from the anxiety of getting ready to face me. I know that he likes to fight from either stance, but I’ve got a plan to counter anything he brings.
“I’m focused on this fight and I’m not thinking about anything else before handling what’s in front of me. There are great opponents out there for me to face at 130 pounds, but I’m putting everything into this fight first.
“I have no problem with Foster saying he wants to send me back to 126, because I know that I would beat him at 126, 130 or 135 pounds. I can guarantee that.
“Foster better wake up, because he isn’t going to be able to sleep through this fight. We’re coming for him and we’re coming to leave with the title.
“The best way to tell the world about me is by winning another world title. I’ve been a solid world champion for a while and now I’m going to add myself to the same list as the greatest Mexican fighters of all time.”
“This means the world to me. Being in my home state, I can’t even explain the feeling. I’m just ready to go.
“I’m coming to spoil the show. I know he’s going to have the fans on his side, but by the end of the night the world is going to see what I’m really made of.
“My confidence never left after I lost a fight. All I needed to do was focus and dedicate myself to my craft. I always felt like I was one of the most talented fighters, I just needed to put in the work. And that’s what we did.
“I just woke up, so I’m not losing any sleep thinking about him. He can talk that talk, but he better know that I’m not Mark Magsayo or any of those guys he’s fought. The strength and the speed is different.
“He’s going to feel me. Whether it’s the first round or whatever round I stop him in, or if it goes all 12 rounds, he’s going to take a beating the whole time.
“He sounds a little nervous over there. He’s talking about what stance I’m gonna use. I’m not worried about what he’s bringing. I know what I come to the table with. I’m gonna be sharp and show him what I’m really about.
“I’d love to unify titles after a win on Saturday, but first we have to send Rey back down to 126 pounds.
“The fans are going to see speed, strength, IQ and fireworks. I’m here to put on a show and prove to the world that O’Shaquie is here to stay.”
“These next few years are going to be really important for the rest of my career. I believe that having Bob Santos back as my trainer is the right move. Being in Las Vegas will help me get the most out of my career.
“The victory on Saturday is the most important thing right now. I have to prove that I’m still an elite fighter. Santiago is a hell of a fighter, but this is just another step for me to get back to those big fights.
“I promised my city a world title and I was able to deliver in 2019. The goal is the same at welterweight. I think with my team, we’re more than capable of doing that again.
“I love fighting back home in San Antonio. I’m looking forward to going out there on Saturday and seeing the Alamodome packed.
“I know Santiago is coming with it. Him taking a fight with me in my city says a lot about him. Whether he wants to box, or whether he wants to go toe-to-toe, we’re going to be ready for anything on Saturday.”
“Mexico vs. Puerto Rico is always a war. We’re going to give it our all in the ring. That’s what it’s all about and I can’t wait.
“This is a deep division, but I’m talented as well. I don’t fear anyone. I’m here to get all the way to the top and become world champion.
“I’m here to do it my way and get to the top of the sport. This is a meaningful fight for me. I’m showing that I’m here not only to win, but win convincingly.
“I’m excited about facing Barrios in his hometown. That’s just going to get me even more motivated in the ring. We’re going to take it to another level for the fans and give them a great fight. Just wait and see. You’re going to see the fans start cheering for me as the fight goes on.”
“This is going to be a spectacular fight and a great opportunity for me to keep growing in my career. I respect what my opponent can do and I know this is going to be a great night for everyone watching.
“I’m here to face the best. I’m always ready for bigger and better challenges. You can count on me to face anyone and everyone as I continue my career.
“I’ve come here to give it my all and give the fans a show. That means getting the knockout for all the fans in San Antonio.
“This is going to be another great victory for my career. I’m looking to keep adding to my resume against a strong opponent on Saturday night.”
“This is a big step in my career. I know that if I go in there and get this victory on Saturday night, a lot of new opportunities will open up for me.
“I did fight his brother [Dainier] in the amateurs and lost on the cards, so this time I’m going to have to take revenge on his brother.
“The winner of this fight is going to be ready to enter that next level. That’s what we’re all looking to do. I can guarantee this fight is gonna be exciting.”