Top Rank Has First Title Opponent for O’Shaquie Foster
Fresh off his thrilling title defence in Mexico last month, Top Rank Boxing has announced that the newly signed WBC junior lightweight champ O’Shaquie Foster will defend his belt for them in February. The matchup will be against former world title challenger Abraham “Super” Nova in New York.
From their release on Friday afternoon.
Top Rank Announce Title Opponent for O’Shaquie Foster
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) December 8, 2023
Opponent for O’Shaquie Foster Revealed
“…Foster, the fighting pride of Orange, Texas, will make his second world title defence against Nova on Friday, Feb. 16 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden.
Foster-Nova will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
“O’Shaquie Foster wants to prove he is the best junior lightweight in the world, and he’ll have an opportunity to make that statement February 16 against a determined, powerful challenger in Abraham Nova,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “I look forward to another great fight night at The Theater at Madison Square Garden.”
Foster (21-2, 10 KOs) is unbeaten in 11 fights since a split decision loss to Rolando Chinea in July 2016… He won the WBC world title in February with a one-sided decision over Mexican standout Rey Vargas. Eight months later, he salvaged his title with a 12th-round knockout over Eduardo “Rocky” Hernandez. Hernandez had a sizable lead on two of the judges’ cards at the time of the stoppage. In November, Foster inked a long-term promotional pact with Top Rank.
Foster said, “It’s always been my dream to fight at Madison Square Garden, and what better promoter to make this all happen than Top Rank? As a kid, watching all the greats fight at MSG inspired me to want to be a part of the history that comes with fighting at such a legendary place. I’m ready to put on a show and keep proving that I’m the best fighter in the world.”
Nova (23-1, 16 KOs), born in Puerto Rico and raised in Albany, New York, had nearly 200 fights during a storied amateur career that included victories over Frank Martin, Richardson Hitchins, and Nahir Albright. Nova signed a co-promotional pact with Top Rank in early 2020… In June 2022, he suffered his lone career setback, a one-punch knockout at the hands of champion Cuban standout and current world champion Robeisy Ramirez. Following the Ramirez defeat, Nova returned to junior lightweight and picked up wins over veteran Adam Lopez and former world champion Jonathan Romero.
“My team and I have earned this opportunity to bring a world title back home,” Nova said. “You know what I bring, and you know what I’m about. No fear, no doubt.”
Foster’s Last Fight Got Him His New Deal
Foster’s dramatic TKO of Hernandez, which may have had the 2023 “round of the year” for the incredible back-and-forth action in the 11th, certainly made himself more attractive as a promotional free agent. Foster then signed on board with Top Rank for a multi-fight deal, which could lead to him to a unification bout with WBO champ Emanuel Navarrete. “Vaquero“ just fought to a draw with Robson Conceicao, and the Mexican star may likely go for a rematch with Conceicao. A further complication is that Navarrete will be sidelined – due to hand surgery. The 29-year-old Nova is an entertaining fighter who has regularly been part of Top Rank shows for the past four years and should provide a formidable challenge for Foster.