Uganda's Bogere chases WBA belt
Sharif Bogere of Uganda and Cuba’s Richard Abril clash for the vacant WBA lightweight title on Saturday night.
The fight will take place in Las Vegas, where Bogere, an exciting 24-year-old, takes on the 30-year-old Abril, whose professional record stands at 17-3-1, including 8 knockouts.
Abril, who fights out of Miami, lost on a disputed split decision to the highly rated Brandon Rios (29-0-1) in April last year.
He had won his previous five fights, beating Jose Reyes on points over ten rounds, Miguel Angel Munguia on a fifth-round stoppage, Julio Camano on points for the WBA Fedalatin lightweight title, Sergio Rivera by tko in the fifth round and Miguel Costa on points for the interim WBA lightweight title.
Sapa-AFP reports that Bogere said on Thursday: "I have been waiting my whole life for this chance. Fighting for the WBA title is an opportunity of a lifetime."
"Uganda is one of the poorest countries on the planet. Most people don't know how hard it's been to get from where I started to where I'm at now. I'm confident that after Saturday, people will know my name and know who I am."
Abril has not fought since losing to Rios. He failed to make weight for the fight and moved up, leaving the title open until the WBA named him the full champion ahead of the Bogere bout at Las Vegas.
"I had no idea it was happening. It was a great surprise," Abril said. "Every fighter has aspirations of becoming a world champion.
"Anybody who watched knows I beat Brandon Rios and that I deserved the decision. Ever since then, in my heart, I always considered myself the WBA champion. The WBA only made it official."
Bogere, however, will make him earn his title. "I don't think anybody is satisfied fighting for an interim title," he said. "We want a full title, a world title."
Bogere, undefeated after 23 bouts, including 15 knockouts, is based in Las Vegas. He won the vacant WBO Nabo lightweight title in May 2011 when he beat Ramundo Beltran on points over ten rounds.
He won his next three fights, beating Francisco Contreras, Sergio Rivera and Manuel Leya, all inside the distance.
The more experienced Abril has a good defence and has never been stopped, but is up against the hand speed and power of Bogere in a fight that could go either way.
FUENTES CHALLENGES NIETES
Also on Saturday, Filipino Donnie Nietes makes the second defence of his WBO junior flyweight belt when he faces Moises Fuentes of Mexico in Cebu City in the Philippines.
Nietes has a record of 31-1-3; 17 and Fuentes comes in at 16-1; 8.
The 30-year-old Nietes is a former WBO minimumweight champion. He is unbeaten in his past 22 fights. His last defeat was against Angky Angkotta on September 28, 2004 when he was beaten on a split decision over ten rounds.
Fuentes, 27, who is moving up a division, won the WBO minimumweight title in August 2011 when he beat Raul Garcia on a split decision.
He retained the title against Russell Mora and the former two-division champion Ivan Calderon before relinquishing the belt.
Fuentes is an aggressive fighter who has a height advantage but is up against a slick fighter in a fight that should go the distance.