Abraham Nova has taken a crash course on William Encarnacion over the past week-and-a-half.

Encarnacion replaced Nova’s original opponent, Jose Enrique Vivas, on less than two weeks’ notice because Vivas suffered an injury while training. The undefeated Nova understands he’ll have his work cut out for him when he encounters the Dominican Republic’s Encarnacion in the opener of ESPN’s doubleheader Saturday night from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.

“What I’ve seen from tape from him, he’s a very skilled fighter,” Nova said during a press conference Thursday. “He has a very good IQ in the ring. … He was a former Olympian. He has a great amateur background, so I could expect a high-skilled, competitive fight early on. But coming from me, you guys could see a lot of skills, a lot of power and a lot of pressure.”

The Puerto Rican-born Nova (20-0, 14 KOs), of Albany, New York, will fight for the second time since the 28-year-old contender decided to drop down four pounds from the junior lightweight division to featherweight. The contract weight for his fight with Encarnacion is 127 pounds.

Encarnacion (19-1, 15 KOs) will fight for the second time since Nicaraguan prospect Giovanni Gutierrez (then 7-0) knocked him out in the fourth round of their July 2019 bout in Santo Domingo. Vivas (21-1, 11 KOs), of Montebello, California, has won four straight fights since featherweight contender Ruben Villa (18-1, 5 KOs) beat him by unanimous decision in a 10-rounder that took place in September 2019 in Midland, Texas.

“You go two months straight thinking of an opponent that you have, you know, a whole game plan set up for that guy,” Nova said. “And so they switch up at the last minute, it was a bit frustrating. But at the end of the day, we have one goal. And the one goal is to win at all means necessary.”

The 10-round bout between Nova and Encarnacion will open ESPN’s two-bout broadcast at 10 p.m. ET.

In the main event, Joe Smith Jr. (27-3, 21 KOs), of Mastic, New York, is set to defend his WBO light heavyweight title against another late replacement, Steve Geffrard (18-2, 12 KOs). The 31-year-old Geffrard, of Boca Raton, Florida, took this fight with Smith on eight days’ notice, once England’s Callum Johnson (20-1, 14 KOs) withdrew from it due to COVID-19.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.