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O’Shaquie Foster vs Abraham Nova Could Be Thrilling



O’Shaquie Foster vs Abraham Nova Could Be Thrilling
Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank/Getty

O’Shaquie Foster will hope to make a third consecutive defense of the WBC Super Featherweight title this Friday against Abraham Nova at the Madison Square Garden Theatre in New York.

Since suffering two defeats in 2015 and 2016, Foster has reinvigorated his career in impression fashion.

Now on an 11-fight winning streak, his unanimous decision loss to Samuel Teah and split-decision defeat to Rolando Chinea feel like they happened a lifetime ago.

Who wins this Friday night fight, promoted by Top Rank, screening on ESPN

A time when Foster wasn’t the slick, hard-hitting, and highly accurate puncher he is today because you only need to look at the American’s recent bouts to realize that this is a very difficult man to beat.

Back in October, Foster was a round away from suffering his first professional loss in over six years.

Going into the twelfth and final round against Eduardo Hernandez, Foster was down on two out of three judges' scorecards.

But like a man possessed, the 30-year-old dropped Hernandez with a sharp one-two before overwhelming his opponent with more punches and forcing the referee to stop the contest.

Foster-Hernandez was regarded as one of the best fights of 2023 and Foster’s trainer Bobby Benson, even admitted that his fighter was on his way to losing his title, before finding the stoppage.

And in his two fights prior to Hernandez, Foster destroyed two undefeated records that belonged to Rey Vargas and Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov.

Vargas had won 31 fights in a row yet that didn’t stop Foster from outboxing the Mexican en route to a wide points decision and becoming a world champion for the first time. Meanwhile, Yaqubov was highly touted with a record of 18-0, although he too had no answer for Foster’s exceptional counterpunching and athleticism.

In the build-up to this fight with Nova, Foster has expressed how it was always his dream to fight at Madison Square Garden while being promoted by the legendary Bob Arum and Top Rank.

Well, this dream could turn into a nightmare as Foster’s mettle will be tested again when sharing the ring with Nova.

Nova has never fought for a world title or beaten the same caliber of opponents as Foster, but the Puerto Rican-born boxer carries serious punching power.

You can ask Jonathan Romero who was knocked out by Nova in brutal fashion last July after first getting dropped by a nasty-looking right uppercut.

Nova only has one defeat on his record – a knockout loss to Robeisy Ramirez, who until this day is considered one of the featherweights in the world and who some believe was unfortunate to be on the wrong side of the judge's decision against Rafael Espinoza in December.

So, in a nutshell, you have two fighters in Foster and Nova who are both on form, which should make for a thrilling spectacle for as long as it lasts and the winner could set themselves up for some lucrative paydays.

After all, super featherweight is a stacked division and there are potential unification fights with the likes of Joe Cordina, Lamont Roach, or even Emanuel Navarrete.

Navarette is ranked as the best super featherweight in the world by Ring Magazine and as a fellow Top Rank fighter, a bout against Foster or Nova seems realistic.

O'Shaquie Foster vs Abraham Nova prediction

O’Shaquie Foster is a strong favorite to overcome Abraham Nova this Saturday night and the betting odds make sense as he is likely to emerge victorious via points.

Nova may have the power to hurt Foster, though he is unlikely to have the skill required to land flush on his opponent's chin.

‘El Super’ is a little bit crude with his approach and often swings wildly, which should present many counterpunching opportunities for Foster who might decide to operate on the back foot.

Furthermore, what Foster might lack in devastating punching power, he makes up for in sheer hand speed and this could cause Nova problems during the exchanges.

A big reason why Nova was knocked out by Ramirez a couple of years ago was that he couldn’t match his adversary's athleticism and it could be a similar story with Foster.

Not to mention, from the eye test alone, Foster just seems like the better boxer.

He picks his shots better, possesses better footwork, and has a superior boxing IQ.

If the champion chooses to box and doesn’t engage in a firefight, it’s hard to see him coming up short on the judges' scorecards.

Then again, boxing is the sport of upsets and Nova most certainly has a puncher's chance to join Subriel Matias as another Puerto Rican-born world champion in the current era.

Dan D’Alessio is a boxing journalist and fitness enthusiast. When Dan is not behind his desk writing articles, he is smashing pads, kicking a ball or lifting weights at the gym