Richar Abril-Derry Mathews title fight off again

09/04/2015 15:10

WBA lightweight champion Richar Abril (19-3-1, 8 KOs) has pulled out of a defence against British challenger Derry Mathews (36-9-2, 7 KOs) for a second time, reportedly due to illness.

Abril was initially scheduled to defend the 135-pound belt against Mathews on March 6 at the Echo Arena in Liverpool but the Cuban withdrew with suspected dengue fever. The fight was rescheduled for April 18, at the same venue, but on Thursday Abril withdrew again.

According to promoter Frank Warren, the Liverpudlian is still expected to fight for the WBA title on the card against an opponent to be determined.

A statement from Warren's Queensbury Promotions read: "We have been made aware of Abril's withdrawal and are in discussions with the World Boxing Association and representatives of Richar Abril as to the current position of the world title as this is the second time he has withdrawn from this fight with less than two weeks before fight night. We expect to hear from the WBA shortly and will make an announcement through this office. However, we fully expect Mathews to contest a version of the WBA World Championship on Saturday 18th April."

Mathews, who is a former British and Commonwealth champion, landed his first world title fight after Abril's original opponent Anthony Crolla suffered serious injuries when confronting suspected burglars in December.