O’Shaquie Foster will defend his 130-pound belt against Abraham Nova on Friday. On the same day, 108-pound champ Adrian Curiel will try to prove that his one-punch KO of Sivenathi Nontshinga last year was no fluke when they meet in a rematch.

VS. ABRAHAM NOVA (23-1, 16 KOs)

  • Date: Friday, Feb. 16
  • Time: 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT (main event later in show)
  • Where: Madison Square Garden Theater, New York
  • TV/Stream: ESPN, ESPN+
  • Division: Junior lightweight (130 pounds)
  • At stake: Foster’s WBC title
  • Pound-for-pound: None
  • Odds: Foster 8-1 favorite (average of multiple outlets)
  • Significance (up to five stars): ***
  • Also on the card: Andres Cortes vs. Bryan Chevalier, junior lightweights; Bruce Carrington vs. Bernard Torres, featherweights
  • Background: Foster will be making the second defense of the title he won as a result of his break-through unanimous decision victory over Rey Vargas in February of last year. He barely held onto his belt in his first defense. The 30-year-old Texan, showing his gritty side, was behind on two of the three official cards when he stopped Eduardo Hernandez in the final round of a wild fight in Hernandez’s home country of Mexico. Nova will be fighting for a major title for the first time. The 30-year-old Puerto Rican boxer-puncher, who lives in Albany, New York, has won two consecutive fights since he was stopped by two-time Olympic gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez in the fifth round in 2022. He defeated capable Adam Lopez by a unanimous decision in January of last year and stopped less-accomplished Jonathan Romero in three rounds in July. Nova is ranked No. 12 by the WBC.


ADRIAN CURIEL (24-4-1, 5 KOs)

  • Date: Friday, Feb. 16
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT (main event later in show)
  • Where: Guelaguetza Auditorium, Oaxaca, Mexico
  • TV/Stream: DAZN
  • Division: Junior flyweight (108 pounds)
  • At stake: Curiel’s IBF title
  • Pound-for-pound: None
  • Odds: Curiel 1½-1 favorite (average of multiple outlets)
  • Significance (up to five stars): ***
  • Also on the card: Mauricio Lara vs. Daniel Lugo, featherweights
  • Background: Curiel and Nontshinga will be fighting for the second time in three-plus months. Curiel, a 25-year-old from Mexico City, stunned Nontshinga and the boxing world when he stopped the favored South African with a single overhand right in the second round to win his first world title on Nov. 4 in Monte Carlo. Curiel was a question mark going into that fight. He had never faced an elite opponent or fought outside of Mexico, although he is now undefeated since 2021. He’s 8-0-1 in his last nine fights. And, curiously, Curiel showed no signs of having one-punch knockout power: He had only four stoppages going into that fight. Nontshinga, 25, made a big splash when he defeated Hector Flores by a split decision in a brutal fight to win the IBF belt in Flores’ native Mexico. He had a successful homecoming in July, easily outpointing previously unbeaten Regie Suganob in East London. And then came the disaster in Europe.




  • Joseph Diaz Jr. vs. Jesus Perez, junior welterweights, Commerce, California (DAZN)


  • Israel Rodriguez Picazo vs. Ramon Cardenas, junior featherweights, Plant City, Florida (ProBox TV)