O’Shaquie Foster to defend title vs. Robson Conceicao

O’Shaquie Foster will defend his WBC junior lightweight title vs. Olympic gold medalist Robson Conceicao on July 6 in Newark, New Jersey, sources informed last Monday.

The 130-pound title fight will serve as chief support to the Shakur Stevenson-Artem Harutyunyan lightweight title fight on ESPN.

Foster (22-2, 12 KOs) is ESPN’s No. 2 junior lightweight. The 30-year-old, who fights out of Houston, made his second title defense in February with a split decision triumph over Abraham Nova. A 12th-round knockdown helped Foster avoid a draw.

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Foster blamed a “bad weight cut” for his performance and vowed to come back stronger for his next title defense.

He won the title last February when he defeated Rey Vargas and then successfully defended it in October with a 12th-round TKO victory over Rocky Hernandez. Foster was down wide on two of the three scorecards when he scored the come-from-behind KO to retain his title.

Conceicao (18-2-1, 9 KOs) is 0-2-1 in title fights, but his two losses came when he was at a disadvantage. The 35-year-old Brazilian dropped a disputed decision to Oscar Valdez in September 2021 just weeks after Valdez tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug. Conceicao’s second crack at a title was a decision loss to Stevenson, who was stripped of his belt due to being 1.5 pounds overweight.

Conceicao’s third title bid was in November, and he suffered two knockdowns but still pulled out a draw with Emanuel Navarrete. Conceicao returned last month with a seventh-round TKO triumph over Jose Ivan Guardado.

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