While Top Rank has made its first two cards on June 9 and June 11 official as it returns to doing live boxing events without crowds because of the coronavirus pandemic, the company is also busy putting together a slew of other fights for ESPN shows planned for the rest of June and July.
One of those fights, which has not been announced but has been made, will pit unbeaten up-and-coming junior lightweight prospect Abraham Nova against Toka Kahn Clary in a 10-round fight at a contract weight of 132 pounds on June 25, multiple sources with knowledge of the bout told BoxingScene.com on Monday.
The fight is supposed to be the co-feature on the card headlined by another fight that has yet to be formally announced but has been made, per sources, between Australian bantamweight contender Jason Moloney (20-1, 17 KOs) and Oscar Negrete (19-2-2, 7 KOs), a former junior featherweight world title challenger from Colombia and based in Paramount, California.
Like all of Top Rank’s upcoming fights, they will take place in a ballroom in the conference center at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and be subject to the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s newly adopted protocols for putting on combat sports during the pandemic, including without spectators being allowed.
Nova (18-0, 14 KOs), 26, who was born in Puerto Rico to Dominican parents and moved to Albany, New York as a youngster, will be boxing for the second time since he signed a co-promotional deal with Top Rank in December.
In his first fight with Top Rank, who co-promotes him with Boston-based Murphys Boxing, Nova scored a fourth-round knockout of Mexican journeyman Pedro Navarrete at a contract weight of 133 pounds on Jan. 18. The bout was on the undercard of the Eleider “Storm” Alvarez-Michael Seals light heavyweight fight at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.
Managed by David McWater’s Split-T Management, Nova, who was 167-11 as an amateur before going pro in 2016, was one of the main sparring partners for Teofimo Lopez Jr. during his training camp for his lightweight world title victory over Richard Commey on Dec. 14.
Nova will be taking a step up in competition when he faces Kahn Clary (27-2, 18 KOs), 27, of Providence, Rhode Island.
Kahn Clary, who had been promoted by Top Rank for several years before a stint with Evander Holyfield’s defunct Real Deal Promotions and is now with promoter Lou DiBella, has won two fights in a row since losing a unanimous decision to Kid Galahad. That was the most significant fight of Kahn Clay’s career as it was a featherweight title elimination fight on the Demetrius Andrade-Walter Kautondowka undercard in Boston in October 2018. Since then both of Kahn Clay’s fights have taken place over the 126-pound featherweight limit.
Dan Rafael was ESPN.com's senior boxing writer for fifteen years, and covered the sport for five years at USA Today. He was the 2013 BWAA Nat Fleischer Award winner for excellence in boxing journalism.