If nothing else, the Richard Abril-Sharif Bogere clash should be entertaining.
The lightweights will battle for the vacant WBA title, and though neither man is a major name in the sport, both generally produce action-packed fights.
Abril (17-3, 8 KO) is coming off a controversial loss to Brandon Rios. Many people—including me—felt that Abril defeated Rios, but he came out on the short end of a split decision.
In defeat, he at least garnered some sympathy for being a hard-luck loser.
Bogere (23-0, 15 KO) is an all-action fighter from Uganda that has yet to lose, but he's also yet to be tested. This has a chance to be a nice showcase for both fighters.
Here's how you can watch the fight and some deeper analysis into the matchup.
When: Saturday, March 2, 10 p.m. ET
Where: Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, The Joint, Las Vegas
Live Stream: Showtime Anytime (Pay Service)
The Book on Abril
One Step Away From A Big Pay Day
Abril wants Adrien Broner or a rematch with Rios. He said as much to Boxing Scene in a recent interview. He has respect for both fighters, but the Cuban believes he has what it takes to beat them.
But he also knows he has to take care of Bogere first.
The controversial loss to Rios in April 2012 may have been the best thing that could have happened to him. Many boxing fans gave him credit for his performance, and in today's boxing world, public approval is worth as much—if not more—than any championship.
The fact that many believe he defeated Rios is part of why he is headlining a Showtime card. It also may have him one step away from the biggest payday of his career with Broner or Rios.
In the Ring
Abril is extremely tall for a lightweight. He stands 5'11" and uses that reach effectively in the ring. He has a good jab, but his biggest weapon is a hard straight right hand.
His length will give most 135-pound fighters a problem, and is one of the reasons he may find it difficult to obtain fights.
He's the type of fighter that it's difficult to look good against. We could be looking at another Winky Wright with Abril. A long, awkward fighter that gives contenders and champions fits, but lacks the major name recognition to secure high-paying bouts.
The Book on Bogere
The Ugandan Lion
Bogere understands showmanship. One look at his caged Lion ring entrance and you'll see this clearly. He can also back up the bravado in the ring.
He has yet to face the type of opposition that will bring him major attention, but he appears ready to bask in the spotlight.
Take a look at this interview from Bogere responding to Abril's trash talk.
Bogere is the type of personality that is great for the sport. He's colorful and energetic, and he understands this is sport and entertainment. Fans that aren't aware of him will soon find out that he's pretty good too.
In the Ring
He has excellent instincts and very good power.
Bogere is unorthodox in a way that only athletically gifted boxers can afford to be. He darts in and out with a combination of range-finding jabs and lead power shots.
He has displayed one-punch KO potential, but since he hasn't faced major names. He lacks the notoriety. At only 24 years old, he could have a great future ahead of him, and this fight could be a major boost to his popularity.
Title Bout Championship Boxing 2 Prediction
In simulating this bout with TBCB2, Abril was the victor six out of 10 times. One of the simulated bouts was declared a draw.
Abril scored a TKO win in the third round of one of his simulated victories, but won with a variety of decisions in the other bouts.
Bogere took three bouts, with one win coming by seventh-round TKO, and the other two by unanimous decision.
The simulated stats show that Abril's jab was the dominant punch.
Take a look at these screenshots produced by TBCB 2.
I'm going against the machine in this one. I like Abril as a fighter, and I believe he has the chance to have a solid career moving forward. But I really like what I've seen of Bogere.
He has the quickness and power to counter Abril's jab, and I see him winning this fight with a late TKO.
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