Tuesday, February 07, 2023  |



Derry Mathews to face knockout artist Ismael Barroso


Mathews (l) in action against countryman Anthony Crolla – Photo Alex Livesey

It was announced today that British lightweight Derry Mathews will meet unbeaten knockout artist Ismael Barroso in Liverpool, England, on April 18, after WBA titleholder Richar Abril postponed a fight against him for a second time.

Abril reportedly withdrew on the first occasion due to a fever which was brought on by a mosquito bite, and has been forced to pull out again because the after-effects of the virus left him unable to train.

Southpaw Barroso, from El Tigre, Venezuela, is 17-0-2 (16 knockouts). Mathews will be the first distinguished opponent he will have faced but, despite the short notice, a puncher of his caliber cannot be underestimated.

“Barroso is a very dangerous fighter,” confirmed Mathews, via a press release from Queensberry Promotions. “Just look at his record, he’s banging people out left, right and center.

“I’ve seen some footage of him and he’s strong, with big right hands and left hooks. He can take you clean out, but I’m not going to be in a position to let him do that to me.”

Mathews (37-9-2, 20 knockouts) also believes that his 15 year professional tenure will prove decisive.

He said, “Barroso is not on my level and I can use all of my experience as an advantage. It’s unfortunate that Abril’s pulled out again, but things happen for a reason.

“I’m in with a massive puncher, but I can punch a bit myself so the crowd will be in for an exciting fight and I can see me flattening him. If the opportunity comes to take him out early I’ll take it, but I know I’ve got to be smart in there.”


  • Editor’s note: Mathews versus Barroso will be contested for an interim version of the WBA lightweight title which is not recognized by THE RING.

Tom Gray is a member of the British Boxing Writers’ Association and has contributed to various publications. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing