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Rey Vargas ready to return to his best against O’Shaquie Foster this Saturday

Rey Vargas

Undefeated two-division world champion Rey Vargas 36-0 (22) insists he is more than ready to join the ranks of the elite when he attempts to become a three-weight world champion when he takes on top contender O’Shaquie Foster 19-2 (11) for the vacant WBC title at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas this Saturday night.

“This is a challenge that motivates me,” said Vargas. “I know that Foster is coming to dazzle everyone. He’s a good fighter, but it’s my job to make things look easy.

“On February 11, I’m going to outshine him. He is quick and has a good guard and good movements. You can tell he’s worked hard, but I believe I’m the toughest opponent he’s faced. He won’t be able to get past me.”

The 32-year-old Mexican is the current WBC featherweight champion, having previously held the same sanctioning organisation’s super bantamweight belt.

The shortlist of Mexicans to win world championships in three weight classes is populate with the elite, including Julio Cesar Chavez, Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera. Vargas longs to join them.

“I don’t want to call this a dream, because I’m about to make it a reality,” said Vargas. “It’s a short list of three-division world champions and I want that to be part of my legacy. I like to do what’s unexpected. Who knows what we’ll do next? All I’m focused on is becoming a three-division champion on February 11.”

In his last fight Vargas was able to bounce back from a ninth-round knockdown to edge out Mark Magsayo 24-1 (16) and capture the WBC featherweight title. In that difficult moment, Vargas credits his years of boxing foundation for preparing him for anything that’s thrown his way while in a top-level fight.

“When you compete on this stage, a minuscule error can cost you the fight,” said Vargas. “You have to be smart and alert. I was a little careless and I made a mistake.

“Magsayo caught me with a big blow. Things happen very quickly in those moments, but I told myself that I had a strong opponent who hits hard, but I’m more ‘cabron’, so I got up, fought smart and got the win. I’m thankful that I had the experience to know how to get out of a situation like that.”

As he continues his ascent up weight classes, Vargas has focused on smartly adding weight while retaining the skills that have made him a two-division champion. In addition to his work with a strength and conditioning coach, he’s trained in the altitude in Otumba, Mexico to make sure he’s at his best.

“I feel very comfortable moving up to 130 pounds,” said Vargas. “Me and my strength and conditioning coach are focusing on nutrition and building more mass. As we go step by step of my regiment, our routine has been more carefully curated.

“I’m avoiding adding any unnecessary muscle that could slow me down and giving my body what it needs to be at its strongest. I’m lucky to be here in Otumba at a higher altitude where the air is fresher and better for training.”

Vargas is trained by his father Carlos Vargas as the father-son duo looks to continue to add to Vargas’ already impressive resume. Now that he’s fully back after an over two year layoff between 2019 and 2021, Vargas has used his family as motivation to continue his upward trajectory.

“My family and my team continue to inspire me every day to work harder and to build a legacy,” said Vargas.

“I’ve had a lot of setbacks and I was mostly stagnant for a few years. I was dealing with an injury, but I’ve recovered.

“I’m continuing to get inspiration and strength from those around me. I know the road that I’m on and I’m enjoying each and every moment.”