WBA lightweight title challenger Derry Mathews has complete confidence that he will realise a lifelong dream in front of his home fans on March 6 when he battles talented Cuban world champion Richar Abril.
At 31, Mathews knows this could be his final attempt to become a recognised title holder in his career, and despite having full respect for 32 year-old Abril’s ability, the Liverpudlian sees the Echo Arena bout as his defining night.
“Abril is a world champion, so I rate him the best in the world because he’s proved it by winning the title. You could even argue that he should be unbeaten, but March 6th he won’t have any excuses as I am going to beat him in every department,” Mathews told World Boxing News.
“He lost a couple of split decisions and beat Brandon Rios in my eyes, but I am a complete different fighter to him. To be challenging for a world title at home is massive, but I truly feel that I will rise to it.
“My trainer (Danny Vaughan) knows I have the ability and my manager (Daniel Kinahan) wouldn’t of got me the fight if he didn’t think I could. We believe home advantage is a huge bonus, but once that bell goes there is only me and him in there.”
A win for Mathews could either mean a trilogy fight with Anthony Crolla becomes a reality after the pair shared two entertaining contests previously, or Kevin Mitchell is a possibility following his recent victory over Daniel Estrada in London.
Mitchell won an eliminator for the chance to face WBC title holder Jorge Linares for the famous green belt this year and Mathews would be interested in a unification if both can be successful in taking the respective world championships.
“Kev was superb and can now fight for the world title,” said Mathews. “If the money is right I will happily fight Kevin and I no he would fight me cos he’s a fighting man like myself.
“In the meantime though we both have to go win the main titles before any fight can happen,” he added.