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Richar Abril-Derry Mathews fight off due to illness

Fighters Network

Richar Abril’s WBA lightweight title defense against Englishman Derry Mathews next month is off due to the Cuban holder suffering from a virus.

Abril’s advisers have applied to the WBA for the showdown, which had been slated for March 6 in Liverpool, England, to be postponed after doctors ruled he would not be ready in time to face Mathews. But, according to Abril’s lawyer, Gregory Broom, and British promoter Frank Warren, who is staging the show in Merseyside, both parties are keen to make the fight happen when Abril is better.

We definitely want to have Abril defend his title against Derry Mathews and it is our hope that we can reschedule the fight for early April – or as close to that time frame as possible,” said Broom to World Boxing News.

Warren echoed those sentiments before adding that the event in Liverpool will still go ahead, with undefeated Englishman Paul Butler’s bid to dethrone IBF junior bantamweight holder Zolani Tete, of South Africa, topping the bill.

It’s very unfortunate that this has happened and Derry will have to wait just a little longer to get his world title opportunity,” Warren said in the same WBN article. “We hope that Richar recovers from his viral infection quickly and is able to get back into training to defend his title against Derry as soon as possible, which we are all really looking forward to.

Despite Richar’s withdrawal, it’s a fantastic show with Paul Butler aiming to be the first British fighter in nearly a hundred years to win a second world title in a lighter weight division.”

Butler (17-0, 8 knockouts) won the IBF bantamweight title last July, beating countryman Stuart Hall on a split decision. A month later, though, the 25-year-old from Cheshire vacated the belt to drop back down to his more “natural” 115-pound weight.

Harry Pratt is on Twitter: @gharrypratt