Unbeaten Ugandan faces Cuba’s Abril for crown
Undefeated Ugandan Sharif Bogere has his first chance to fight for a world title on Saturday when he faces Cuba’s Richar Abril for the World Boxing Association lightweight title.
Bogere, 23-0 with 15 knockouts, has not gone past the third round in his past three fights, the most recent a second-round knockout of Mexican southpaw Manuel Leyva last June.
“I have been waiting my whole life for this chance. Fighting for the WBA title is an opportunity of a lifetime,” said the 24-year-old African.
“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, 17-3 with one draw and eight knockouts, has not fought since losing a split decision to unbeaten American Brandon Rios last April.
Rios, 30, failed to make weight for the fight and moved up, leaving the title open until the WBA named interim Abril the full champion ahead of the Bogere bout at Las Vegas.
“I had no idea it was happening. It was definitely a surprise, but it was a great surprise,” Abril said. “Every fighter has aspirations of becoming a world champion.
“Anybody who watched absolutely 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 throne in the ring.
“I don’t think anybody is satisfied fighting for an interim title,” Bogere said. “We want a full title, a world title.”