Boxing champ “Shock” Foster talks homecoming parade; Art in the Park and car show fun planned
Published 12:20 am Tuesday, March 28, 2023
O’Shaquie “Shock” Foster considers it a blessing, and he is “happy, excited and anxious” to see how everything turns out this weekend.
“I am happy for the support the city has given me,” he told Orange Newsmedia.
The Orange native and recently crowned WBC junior lightweight champion will enjoy a parade and ceremony in his honor, beginning at noon Saturday.
It’s all part of the 21st annual Art in the Park and 4th annual Orange Riverfront Car Show.
Growing up in Orange taught Foster how to be tough.
“Coming from a small town and going to those big towns and winning tournaments, and doing what I did, it is amazing to do that from a small town,” he said. “They always overlook us. We are always the underdog. Coming out of Orange, I always had that chip on my shoulder.”
Foster lived up to his “Shock” nickname Feb. 11 by winning a surprisingly easy unanimous decision victory over Rey Vargas of Mexico to claim the vacant WBC junior lightweight title at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
Foster (20-2, 11 KOs) handed Vargas his first defeat and put the City of Orange on the boxing map.
“At first it didn’t hit me for a couple of weeks,” Foster says about the magnitude of his victory. “Now, I can see the look on people’s faces once they see me. All the love I’m getting is amazing.”
He said it “was huge” to defeat Vargas in the Alamodome, a venue packed with plenty of Vargas fans.
The crowd was electric, and they were on their feet, booing and doing a lot more, Foster recalls.
“It was fun,” he said. “I had a great time. Coming from Orange, we’re always the underdog. It was good to have them quiet by the end of the night.”
Despite the negative fanfare, when in the ring, Foster doesn’t really hear outside noise.
He says he locks into what he is doing, but noted it was funny before I walked out to take the ring and many fans could see him standing at the entrance.
“They were going crazy,” he said.
Foster was finally able to catch a breath and enjoy the victory when he got home to the hotel and in his room after the fight.
“I was excited for everybody,” he said. “All my loved ones, the people I really care about, were there. It was big. There were a lot of people, too many to count.”
He was back to serious training within two weeks of the victory with a goal to get back in the ring in June.
“I feel like I have had enough inactivity throughout my career,” Foster (20-2, 11 KOs) said. “I’m a champion. I work hard. I am humble, dedicated to my craft.”
He said his desire to fulfill his athletic potential has grown since the February victory, “because I know this is just the beginning. Now that you have the title, you have to work extra hard to keep it.”
Fun in Orange
Art in the Park and the Orange Riverfront Car Show are joining forces to provide a day full of fun from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Art in the Park is held at Stark Park, and the Orange Riverfront Car Show is held on Front Avenue.
These two events are in walking distance from one another to provide entertainment for all ages and interests.
A special addition this year is a parade and ceremony honoring Foster at noon.
Spend the day strolling throughout Stark Park and find unique items provided by more than 100 artists and crafters, then hop over Front Avenue and take a look at a number of classic cars, show cars, sports cars and much more.
An award ceremony takes place, beginning at 2 p.m. at Riverfront Pavilion for the top car show entries.
Food and drink vendors are available for both locations.
Dogs, skateboards, bicycles and coolers are NOT be allowed at Art in the Park or the Orange Riverfront Car Show.
On-site registration for the car show is available the morning of the event, beginning at 7 a.m.
Registration for Art in the Park is first come, first serve. Applications may be found in the CVB office inside city hall.
Additional information may be obtained from the Convention & Visitors Bureau office at 409-883-1011.