THE RESULT: O’Shaquie Foster retains his WBC super-featherweight title with a split decision over Abraham Nova tonight (February 16) at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York. Scores delivered at the end of the bout read 116-111 and 115-112 to Foster, with one dissenting vote of 114-113 for Nova. Along the way to securing victory Foster suffered an arm injury and also scored a knockdown of Nova in the final round.

KEY MOMENTS: In the 12th round, Nova sloppily staggered forward with two jabs, both of which missed the target, and Foster cleverly caught the onrushing challenger with a left hook which dropped him for the first time in the fight. The shot, which may have been crucial on the cards, landed flushed on Nova’s chin, while its impact was doubled due to the fact Nova’s feet were square at the time of it landing.

RECORDS: Foster, 30, moves to 22-2 (12) with his latest win, whereas Nova, also 30, falls to 23-2 (16).

TALKING POINT: For Foster, this victory was all about patience, which is a by-product, perhaps, of his experience. He expected Nova to start fast, which he did, and he knew he would have to remain calm and poised during this period before growing into the fight in its second and third acts. This, to Foster’s credit, is precisely what happened, too, with his performance in the final rounds – including that final-round knockdown – enough to get him over the line and ensure the WBC super-featherweight belt left New York still in his possession.

QUOTABLE: “My rhythm was off tonight,” said O’Foster afterwards. “But we came home with the win, so I can’t complain. I’m a 12-round fighter and I know how to make judgements through the right. So, he came on strong in the beginning, but I found my rhythm and his timing, and then I started picking it off.”

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: Later, when asked what he wanted to happen next, Foster made a point of mentioning two names in particular he would like to fight. There was mention first of Lamont Roach, who holds the WBA super-featherweight belt, and there was also an indication that Foster would like to fight the winner of the fight between Oscar Valdez and Liam Smith, which takes place on March 29.