Despite it being three days before Valentine’s Day, there was no love in the air on Saturday night at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas as Showtime Championship Boxing and TGB Promotions presented a night of action, topped by Vargas vs Foster. In the main event of the evening, O’Shaquie Foster (20-2, 11 KO’s) of Orange, Texas claimed the vacant WBC Super-Featherweight Championship over Rey Vargas from Mexico City, Mexico (36-1, 22 KO’s) via twelve round decision.
In what turned out to be a tactical battle throughout the evening, Foster controlled most of the fight with feints, effective counter punching and great movement. Halfway through the Vargas vs Foster fight, Foster was consistently feinting and making Vargas work off the ropes. Vargas couldn’t get much going as Foster was using precise movement to evade the offense of Vargas and keep him guessing all evening. Foster did a great job down the stretch to hold off Vargas who usually comes on strong in the second half of his fights.
“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,” said Foster when asked about how he avoided a late rally from Vargas. The judges scored the Vargas vs Foster fight 116-112, 117-111 and 119-109 in favor of Foster who has a few mandatories due, but is definitely looking to unify the titles in the 130lb division.
In the co-main event of the evening, Mario Barrios (27-2, 17 KO’s) made his return to the ring after just over a year off against Jovanie Santiago (14-3-1, 10 KO’s), in support of Vargas vs Foster.
The first few rounds saw Barrios directing traffic with his jab, while Santiago was fighting with his back on the ropes for the most part. Things turned into a bit of a grappling contest in the corner as the referee had to separate both fighters towards the end of the fourth round. The sixth and seventh rounds saw Barrios become much more aggressive, driving Santiago back into the ropes multiple times and stunning his foe. Barrios came out looking to unload on Santiago in the 8th round and unload he did. Santiago was knocked down early in the eighth-round, and eventually stopped after a follow up barrage of punches with the corner stepping in at 1:42 of the eighth-round.
“I had to get more physical, I knew Santiago was coming with it. He took this fight in my backyard,” said Barrios who with the win improves to 27-2 with 17 knockouts.
To Open The Show
Kicking things off on the Showtime Championship Boxing portion of the card before Vargas vs Foster was Lenier Pero (9-0, 6 KO’s) facing Viktor Faust (11-1, 7 KO’s) in a Ten-Round bout for the WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight Title. After a slow first round the action picked up in the second-round, with both men landing some heavy shots. Faust continued to control the distance with his jab, while Pero was throwing one or two shots at a time. The end of the fight came at 2:28 of the eighth-round when Pero landed a right hook to the body that seemed to injure Faust. Faust turned his back to Pero and went into the corner, while Pero who wasn’t stopped by the referee followed up and got the referee stoppage.
After the fight, when asked if he thought the referee made the correct decision in stopping the fight, Pero said, “it’s professional boxing, you can never turn your back.” With the win, Pero is now the WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight Champion.