February 16: O’Shaquie Foster to defend crown against Abraham Nova
WBC junior lightweight world champion O’Shaquie “Ice Water” Foster hopes to cool off the latest challenger to his throne.
Foster, the fighting pride of Orange, Texas, will make his second world title defense against Abraham “El Super” Nova on Friday, Feb. 16 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Murphys Boxing and 12 Rounds Promotion, ticket information and undercard fights will be announced in due course.
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 returned to the ring in December 2017 with renewed purpose and decorated trainer Bobby Benton in his corner. Since moving to Houston to train with Benton, Foster has fulfilled the promise he displayed during a 100-plus fight amateur career that included a 2010 National PAL title and an alternate berth on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team.
The 30-year-old 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 after spending his early career notching victories in Belgium, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Uruguay, and on club shows in the Northeast United States. 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.”
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