Abril defeats Bogere; Russell Jr. dominates Gusev
By Jeff Sorby: Using his 5’11” height, WBA lightweight champion Richar Abril (18-3-1, 8 KO’s) defeated Sharif Bogere (23-1, 15 KO’s) on Saturday night by a 12 round unanimous decision in a physical at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
At times, the fight looked more like an MMA type of fight than actual boxing match, as Bogere often charged forward with his head lowered like a little ram. Abril was cut over his right eye, as well as his left from impacts from Bogere’s head.
The judges’ scored the fight 115-111, 116-110, 116-110.
Referee Russell Mora took a point away from Abril in the 8th for holding Bogere. In the 12th, Mora evened things out by taking a point away from Bogere for charging with his head. Overall, Mora did a good job because he had to do something because the action was dirty. Bogere did get away with some rabbit punching, but thankfully that wasn’t something he did nearly as often as the accidental head-butting he was doing.
The odd thing about the fight is that once Abril lost a point in the 8th, he started fighting a lot better by unloading on the shorter Bogere. It’s too bad it took for him to lose a point for him to start letting his hands go because the fight would have been much more one-sided had he throw more shots early on. Abril rarely used his jab, and that’s another thing he could have and should have done to control the 5’6” Bogere from the outside.
Bogere was definitely the busier guy in the first half of the fight, as he rushed forward constantly throwing wild shots. However, Abril did a good job of leaning away from Bogere’s big swings, causing them to miss. Abril was using the shoulder roll defense and it worked well for him in avoiding Bogere’s shots.
After the fight was over, Abril said he wants to fight WBC lightweight champion Adrien Broner next.
In the co-main event, undefeated featherweight Gary Russell Jr. (22-0, 13 KOs) defeated a reluctant Vyacheslav Gusev (20-3, 5 KOs) by a 10 round unanimous decision. Gusev very rarely threw anything in the fight, and he just looked he didn’t want to take any chances whatsoever.
The fight was incredibly boring, and you have to wonder why Showtime blessed this mismatch because you could see it was going to be a mismatch before it even started because Gusev has minimal offensive skills, and zero power. The judges scored the fight 100-89, 100-89 and 100-89.
Gusev was knocked down in the 3rd round when his right glove touched the canvas after getting hit by a right hand from Russell Jr. In the 6th, Russell Jr. hurt his left hand, and was forced to use his right for the remainder of the fight.
It’s hard to tell how good Russell Jr. is because he’s been matched against such poor opposition his entire career. As quick as he is, I think he might have major problems if he’s put in with guys like Daniel Ponce De Leon and Mikey Garcia. They hit too hard and Russell Jr. doesn’t move his head.
When interviewed by Jim Gravy after the fight, Russell Jr. said he wants to face contender Juan Manuel Lopez next.
Other boxing action on the card:
Jorge Melendez TKO 4 Ryan Davis
Jeffrey Fontanez UD 6 Daniel Attah
Sammy Vasquez TKO 2 Leandro Albonoz
Luis Arias TKO 1 Arsenio Terraza