NEW YORK – Abraham Nova isn’t impressed by Robeisy Ramirez’s nine-fight winning streak since the two-time Olympic gold medalist lost his pro debut.
The unbeaten Nova considers Ramirez’s run more the byproduct of smart matchmaking than anything. Nova intends to prove Saturday night, though, that Ramirez’s handlers made a mistake in choosing to face him in a 10-round featherweight fight ESPN will televise as part of the Artur Beterbiev-Joe Smith Jr. undercard from Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater.
“He knows what I’m bringing,” Nova told BoxingScene.com following a press conference Thursday at Madison Square Garden. “You guys are gonna see Saturday. These [bookmakers] and everybody else got this a 50-50 fight. I don’t see a 50-50 fight at all. I see me blowing this kid out.”
Ramirez (9-1, 5 KOs) has lost only a four-round split decision to Adan Gonzales in August 2019 since he edged eventual two-division champion Shakur Stevenson in the bantamweight gold medal match at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The Cuban southpaw soundly avenged his close loss to Gonzales four fights later, when Ramirez unanimously out-pointed Denver’s Gonzales (5-4-2, 2 KOs) in a six-rounder in July 2020.
“There’s been a little bit of progression, but he’s been matched right,” Nova said. “When you see who he’s fought, there’s nobody. I have better opposition than him. So, he was matched right. He was supposed to beat those dudes. He fought a 36-year-old in the UK who fought nobody [Eric Donovan on February 26 in Glasgow], So, if they wanna, you know, feel good off that hype, then hey. But I’m telling you, you guys are gonna see something real, real good on Saturday. You guys are gonna see me shine, like I usually do.”
The 28-year-old Nova (21-0, 15 KOs) moved down from the junior lightweight limit of 130 pounds to featherweight last year because, based on “the politics” of boxing, he sensed it would become easier to get a title shot in the 126-pound division. The Albany, New York native is ranked fourth at featherweight by the WBO, 12th by the WBC and 13th by the WBA.
Ramirez, 28, is ranked 12th by both the WBA and WBO, but a lot is still expected of him because of his amateur accomplishments.
“From the public, I should receive a lot more respect when I knock him out because they have it as a 50-50 fight and they’re gonna see the difference,” Nova said. “So, I should be mentioned with the top dogs and I should be getting my title shot next because of the high-caliber fighter they have him as. So, if I blow him out, then where does that put me with the top dogs?”
Two of the three top dogs in the light heavyweight division, Beterbiev and Smith, will square off in a main event ESPN will televise after the Nova-Ramirez match starts off a telecast set to begin at 10 pm ET. Montreal’s Beterbiev (17-0, 17 KOs) and Smith (28-3, 22 KOs), of Mastic, New York, will fight for Beterbiev’s IBF and WBC championships and Smith’s WBO belt in a 12-round, 175-pound title unification match.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.