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Richard Abril vs. Derry Mathews rescheduled for April 18

Fighters Network

British lightweight Derry Mathews will challenge Richar Abril for the WBA lightweight title on April 18 in Liverpool, England, Mathews’ hometown.

Abril, rated No. 3 by THE RING at 135 pounds, withdrew from the original date of March 6 after being diagnosed with a viral infection, but the Cuban veteran vowed to go through with the bout if a new date could be arranged.

“I’m delighted that Abril kept to his word,” said Mathews, in a press release from Queensberry Promotions. “My promoter, Frank Warren, and my management team have worked hard behind the scenes to keep my dream alive and I’m really grateful.

“This is the culmination of my career and the moment I’ve been waiting for. I will be fitter, sharper, stronger and hungrier than ever before to make sure I win the WBA title in front of my home crowd.”

The 32-year-old Abril recognized his own dream of becoming world champion when he defeated then-unbeaten Sharif Bogere in March 2013. Despite his status, he has been woefully inactive and won his only title defense against Edis Tatli last September, via majority decision.

Another British challenger, Anthony Crolla, was originally scheduled to face Abril in Manchester, England, but that bout fell apart when Crolla was seriously injured while attempting to foil the burglary of a neighbor.

Mathews, who owns a win and a draw against Crolla, stepped in as a replacement.

The gung-ho Liverpool star will still appear on the original date on March 6, at the same venue, against an opponent to be determined. That show will be headlined by Zolani Tete’s IBF junior bantamweight title defense against the unbeaten Paul Butler.