Richar Abril retained the WBA lightweight title with a messy win over Sharif Bogere, while featherweight prospect Gary Russell Jr cruised to a decision win on the undercard.
Richar Abril and Sharif Bogere didn't make for a pretty meshing of styles tonight on Showtime, with Abril retaining his WBA lightweight title via unanimous decision in a sloppy, ugly battle, on scores of 116-110, 116-110, and 115-111. BLH had it 114-112 for Abril.
Abril (18-3-1, 8 KO) picked up the pace down the stretch, at least to some degree. While he was never truly "active" or throwing a ton, he definitely was able to outclass Bogere (23-1, 15 KO) when it mattered most. Abril lost a point in the eighth round for holding, while Bogere lost a point in the 12th. The fight was filled with hugging, headbutts, and consistent breaks in the action. Referee Russell Mora did what he could to keep control of the fight, basically, but it was kind of a typical Mora performance in that when the going got tough, he seemed a bit out of his depth.
After the fight, Abril said he'd like to face WBC titlist Adrien Broner, which is probably about as legit a fight as Broner is going to find at lightweight, where he plans to stay for the time being. Whether or not Abril has any real hope of beating Broner -- or anyone at 135 does, for that matter -- is another story. Tonight wouldn't lead one to think Broner would be in any real trouble.
Gary Russell Jr hurt his left hand, but luckily, opponent Vyacheslav Gusev was so overmatched that Russell didn't really need both hands, and he cruised to a 100-89 shutout on all three cards. Russell is now 22-0 (13 KO), while Gusev falls to 20-3 (5 KO).
Also winning on the undercard were prospects Jeffrey Fontanez, Jorge Melendez, and Thomas Williams Jr.