One of the highest rated lightweights in the world, Richar Abril, has been nowhere to be found on the boxing scene for quite a while - coming up on a full year. If you were wondering where he's gone, and perhaps many of you weren't, Abril is currently caught up in a promotional dispute and what his lawyer, Greg Bloom, deems to be unfair treatment by the WBA, who have removed Abril from their rankings.
"Richar has been fit to fight for quite some time now. Unfortunately, the WBA has greatly mistreated their former champion," Bloom exclusively told World Boxing News.
"In April, the WBA made him "Champion in Recess" after an injury kept him from fighting Matthews as previously scheduled. The WBA then told Abril (via letter) he would have 120 days to fight new champion Darleys Perez. We contacted the WBA immediately and said Abril would be ready in 60 days for that fight."
I believe the "injury" that Bloom is referring to were those recurring cases of dengue fever which forced Abril to pull out of two fights with Matthews. Bloom says that one week after they contacted the WBA letting them know that Abril would be ready to go within 60 days, they approved the first Perez-Crolla fight without informing Abril. Soon after, the WBA chose to strip Abril of his "champion in recess" status and removed him from their top-10 rankings.
Bloom goes on to say that none of his correspondence to the WBA (on Abril's behalf) has been answered since April and that the sanctioning body has been willfully ignoring them. In the meanwhile, Abril has been been trying and failing to land a fight because his promotional status is still up in the air through the court system, and no other promoter wants to get involved while it's being slowly sorted out.
"We are very frustrated with the situation on this end and there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel. We are actively looking for fights and trying our best to either move the lawsuit along or settle the situation," he added.
Abril is a very savvy technician but never came with much fanfare, and while he continues to be relegated to the sidelines during his prime, his name in the lightweight division continues to grow more and more obscure.