By Phil D. Jay
Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn is anticipating a shot at the WBA lightweight title for Gavin Rees (37-1-1, 18KOs) this year, despite a proposed fight with interim-champion Richard Abril (17-3-1, 8KOs) falling through recently.
Former world light-welterweight champion Rees is currently enjoying an eleven-fight undefeated run since suffering his solitary loss to Andriy Kotelnyk and had hoped to bring the Cuban to the UK to fight for the belt taken from Brandon Rios.
Abril, 30, has now turned his back on the fight after being offered the chance to face WBA number four ranked Sharif Bogere (23-0, 15KOs) on a huge Showtime televised Golden Boy card on October 13th in Las Vegas. And like Hearn, Abril hopes to have the WBA title on the line.
“As far as we are concerned Abril cannot fight Bogere for the vacant title as we are higher in rankings and available,” Hearn told World Boxing News.
“The WBA asked us to make Rees v Abril for the vacant title and we agreed terms with Abril’s team, whilst informing the WBA, but now Abril looks like he will take on Bogere in October.
“Obviously with us being ranked at three with the WBA and higher ranked than Bogere, we expect to fight for the vacant against the next available challenger.”
32 year-old Rees no doubt deserves a shot at the title with his impressive run of late, but Oscar De La Hoya at Golden Boy will also argue that Abril should be the full champion after his performance against Rios in April.
The WBA will be under pressure to make a decision in the short term as both fighters are lining up fights in the near future and Rees will likely have to choose between number two ranked Yuriorkis Gamboa, Darley Perez at number five or Mercito Gesta at six, to gain WBA approval.
“It would have to be against one of the top two contenders in the rankings,” clarified Hearn.
Phil D. Jay covers boxing for worldboxingnews.net