Abril has been on the lookout for an opponent since his January 23 defence against Anthony Crolla was called off due to injuries suffered by the challenger during a burglary and speculation soon mounted over the New Year that Ex-Crolla foe Mathews was a possibility.
Despite initially being told that no contact had been made between both parties, WBN has been reliably informed that the contest has been agreed in principle and understand that Abril is set to be named as Mathews’ big name opponent for the Echo Arena on March 6. Once rubberstamped, Mathews will be in line to fight for a world title on home soil for the second time in his career, having lost out to Emiliano Marsili for the vacant IBO lightweight belt back in January 2012 at the Olympia on Merseyside.
The 31 year-old, who picked up the WBA Continental title in beating Adam Dingsdale on October 25, will go into the fight as a huge underdog to dethrone Abril who is widely regarded as one of the better of the world champions at 135lbs.
At 32, Abril is still relatively fresh after having just 23 bouts since entering the paid ranks in 2005 and has only been defeated at the top end of the rankings against Breidis Prescott, Hank Lundy and Brandon Rios – all of which were hotly contested split decisions.
If confirmed at Thursday’s presser, Abril v Mathews will join the IBF super-flyweight belt battle between Zolani Tete and Paul Bulter on top billing for what looks on paper to be another packed Frank Warren show headlined by two tasty-looking world title offerings.