Ryan Burton reports at BoxingScene.com that a fight between interim WBA lightweight titlist Richard Abril and European and British champion Gavin Rees is good to go for either late September or early October, according to Abril. The fight has been in the works for a short while, and an agreement has been reached.
Abril (17-3-1, 8 KO) was last seen on April 14, when he was blatantly robbed of a win over Brandon Rios, in a decision that didn't kick up the dust of the Pacquiao-Bradley fight in June, but was in fact much worse, at least from where I sit. I thought there was absolutely no argument for the lethargic, slow Rios in that fight, but Rios won on a split decision anyway.
Rees (37-1-1, 18 KO) has been on a very good run, going 10-0-1 since his 2008 loss to Andriy Kotelink, with the draw of the technical variety after a clash of heads against Derry Mathews in their first fight in October of last year. Rees defeated Mathews in a rematch on July 7.
This is a solid fight between a couple of guys who deserve the opportunity. Rees, 32, has worked his way here with some good wins, and is never in a bad fight. Abril deserved to win the title in April, but was screwed by the judges in Vegas, and it's nice to see that he won't be totally shut out of good fights.
Who do you favor here? On paper the fight favors the tricky, frustrating Abril, I believe, but I honestly expect that Rees will have more to offer than Rios did in April. Rios had killed himself trying to make weight, which Rees won't (knock on wood), and he should have a lot more energy to burn hunting Abril with his come-forward style. I think I still favor Abril, because he's a pretty damn good fighter, period, but I don't think it's automatic.