Boxing Preview: Derry Matthews takes on Richard Abril
Liverpool boxer Derry Matthews has earned a bout with Cuban Richard Abril for the WBA World Lightweight title on Saturday 18th April at the Liverpool Echo Arena. The 31-year-old is one of the most popular boxers in Britain right now, and he will be aiming to make Merseyside proud in front of his home supporters. If Matthews beats Abril, he will be the first world champion to come from the city in over twenty years. We take a look at one of the biggest upcoming British boxing fights and give our thoughts on the card as a whole.
Matthews – who replaces Manchester’s Anthony Crolla after he suffered injuries while fighting off two burglars shortly before Christmas – certainly deserves his shot at a world title after numerous excellent performances throughout the years. And the popular boxer, who rarely has a bad fight, will be hoping that the crowd gets behind him and their support can see him earn championship glory.
Abril has held the title for a number of years. He was crowned interim champion in 2011 after a points decision victory over Miguel Acosta, before he defeated Sharif Bogere in March 2013 to deservedly secure the full title. In his first defence of the belt, the Cuban earned a majority decision against Eds Tatli to remain the champion.
However, the 32-year-old has more-or-less fought exclusively in America throughout his career, and Matthews will be banking on the Cuban suffering from being out of his comfort zone. If the crowd is hostile and are fully behind the Briton, then Abril may find the Liverpool crowd tough to deal with.
The Liverpool boxer came to prominence after beating Stephen Foster Junior for the WBU featherweight belt in 2006, but suffered a poor run of form until 2009. However, he refused to give up on the sport, and moved up weight classes in 2011, and has found his best form and has mixed with some of the best lightweights that the United States and Europe have to offer.
This will be the main event on an exceptional card that includes fighters such as fellow Liverpool stars Liam Smith, Joe Selkirk, Steven Lewis and James Metcalf. Furthermore, there will also be debut bouts for amateur stars John Gillies and Andrew Cain, as well as a fight between Iain Butcher and Josh Leather for the vacant British Flyweight Championship. Boxing fans are certainly in for a treat and will be hoping that Matthews finishes the evening with a British victory and the title.