Foster eyeing unification showdown with Navarrete

O’Shaquie Foster is optimistic about the prospect of fighting Emanuel Navarrete if on Friday he successfully defends his WBC super featherweight title against Abraham Nova.

On the occasion of his first fight since leaving Matchroom for Top Rank, at the Madison Square Garden Theater in New York he hopes to move nearer to the unification fight that has so far eluded him.

Foster won the vacant title against Rey Vargas in February 2023, and in October dramatically defended it by stopping, in Cancun, Mexico, the Mexican Eduardo Hernandez in the 12th round when he was on course for defeat.

His association with Matchroom had previously made a fight with Wales’ Joe Cordina, the IBF champion, appear likely, but it is Navarrete, who holds the WBO title, he instead has in his sights.

“I think it’s a possibility,” said Foster, like his fellow American Nova 30 years old. “They’ve got plenty of options, but you know firstly the main target is to unify, and so I think it could be a possibility. You’ve got two champions with the same motive, so it shouldn’t be that hard to make.

“We’re always up for unifying – that’s something we’ve been screaming since we won the [WBC] title, but we understand that some fights have to be built, and the process of it, so we definitely want it. It’s a possibility, for sure.

“But one thing about it, he’s got to want it too – I’m done chasing these guys. That’s one thing about it [that] I would say – calling out [Joe] Cordina. I was a free agent before he fought the guy that he fought [Edward Vazquez in November], even before the purse bid, so I’m done chasing these guys. I’m gonna call them out, but if they wanna fight, it’s got to be a two-way street.”

Navarrete impressed in defeating Oscar Valdez in August before struggling to a draw in November against Robson Conceicao. 

“I’ve always enjoyed watching him fight, especially when he first came on the scene, because I thought it was one of the most awkwardest, weirdest fight styles that have ever came through the game, but it worked for him,” Foster continued. “It was entertaining, so I think he’s a good, awkward fighter – he does things that a normal fighter can’t do. I’m talking about being out of position – those things that he does [laughs]. He’s a great champ, he definitely deserves the clout that he gets.

“I thought that he was going to beat [in August 2023 Oscar] Valdez. That fight with Valdez, it made me see that he’s a little smarter than what I thought of him at first. I saw something like that.”