Exclusive: Abril returns June 3, feels Crolla owes him title shot
Former world lightweight champion Richar Abril makes his eagerly-anticipated comeback in New York on June 3 following a lengthy absence of 21 months.
The 33 year-old had been out of action due to a series of injuries and promotional misfortune until WBN pushed the Cuban’s plight to prospective promoters and legendary boxing figure Lou DiBella stepped in.
Abril will now face Texan Jerry ‘The Corpus Christi Kid’ Belmontes at the Resorts World Casino in Queens as he takes the first step to regaining the WBA belt the talented boxer never lost inside the ropes.
Victory over Edis Tatli back in 2014 to successfully defend his championship was the beginning of a road of uncertainty for Abril, who was stripped by the WBA for not defending his title, firstly against current belt holder Anthony Crolla when the Brit suffered a fractured skull, followed by replacement and UK rival Derry Mathews.
The WBA’s decision was contested at the time and did seem a little harsh, although Abril has picked himself back up and focused his attention on landing a shot at Crolla later this year – which he says is the least he deserves.
“I am keeping my eye on Anthony Crolla,” Abril exclusively told World Boxing News.
“We were signed to fight last year and he got injured but when he returned he was able to go around me to get the WBA title, not through me. I believe he should want to give me a shot, the same way I was willing to fight him.
“I never lost my belt in the ring and I feel he is holding my title,” he added.
In-form Crolla has defeated Darleys Perez and Ismael Barroso recently to cement his place as the top 135 pounder in the country and subsequently been linked to a two-belt battle with WBO champion Terry Flanagan.
If Crolla v Flanagan is agreed for the summer as hoped, Abril could be in line to face the winner for both titles as a victory over Belmontes next month should mean a welcome return to the WBA rankings.