Orange Mayor says hometown champion’s parade serves as inspritation to local youth

Published 12:24 am Wednesday, April 5, 2023

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WBC junior lightweight champion O’Shaquie “Shock” Foster was the toast of Orange with a parade in his honor.

The Orange native was also presented a key to the city on Saturday, part of a fun-filled weekend.

Mayor Larry Spears Jr. said it was a blessing to honor Foster.

Mayor Larry Spears Jr., O’Shaquie “Shock” Foster and council member Paul Burch present “Shock” with the key to the city. (Randy Strong/Special to the Orange Leader)

According to Spears, when he entered city government, one of the things his team wanted to do was provide hope and show people, especially Orange’s young people, that anything is possible.

“To have a young man from our city, from a local school, go on to be a world champion, this is more than many of us could have ever imagined until now,” Spears said. “We wanted to congratulate him, honor him and let the young people see this is what can happen when you really work hard and keep your mindset on your goals.”

Foster’s celebration was part of a packed day in the city, which included the 21st annual Art in the Park and 4th annual Orange Riverfront Car Show.

Foster lived up to his “Shock” nickname by winning a surprisingly easy unanimous decision victory Feb. 11 over Rey Vargas to claim the vacant WBC junior lightweight title at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

“It was fun,” Foster told Orange Newsmedia before the parade. “I had a great time. Coming from Orange, we’re always the underdog. It was good to have (Vargas’ fans) quiet by the end of the night.”

An Orange crowd celebrates the champ. (Randy Strong/Special to the Orange Leader)

Foster 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.”

Spears met Foster several years ago, saying he loved Foster’s humility.

“It’s like, ‘wow, this guy is a top notch boxer, yet so disciplined,’” Spears said. “He has always been that way. We know that is how he got to where he is. A lot of people from the community say he has always been a loving, young man, even as a kid, sharing and helping others. To be around him again this weekend, you continue to see that humility. He may be the champ, but his biggest thing is wanting to come back and inspire the youth. What more can you ask for from someone like that?”

The mayor said it was especially nice to see the crowd celebrate a local son.

“A lot of times we see people on TV achieve great accomplishments, but to have this happen to somebody we know, to somebody the people love, to someone they have grown up with, it hits home and inspires them,” according to Spears. “With God, all things are possible. This was something supported by the community, and I am happy to everyone who came out and gave some love to the champ. He definitely deserves it.”

Ruth Hancock, Demetrius Hunter, O’Shaquie “Shock” Foster, Linda Platt-Bryant and Tommy Wilson Sr. (Randy Strong/Special to the Orange Leader)