Cuban Richar Abril (18-3-1, 8), who had previously been the WBA Lightweight champion made the first defense of the full version of the title as he out pointed the previous unbeaten Ugandan born Sharif Bogere (23-1, 15) in a messy yet entertaining bout that was marred by the awful officiating of Russell Mora who again raised more eye brows than anything else.
the bout started well for Bogere who started fast and launched himself at Abril in the early rounds. It wasn't pretty but Bogere's reckless style and aggression was certainly causing the defending champion real issues. Not only were Bogere's punches reckless and wild but he was also leading with his head and giving Abril 3 targets to avoid.
It was with the head that Bogere, who was dirty through out the fight, scored his most notable success as an accidental clash of heads opened up a cut over Abril's eye. Somehow the referee, Russell Mora seemed to avoid the leading with the head and instead repeatedly warned Abril for effectively protecting himself from Bogere's head.
Whilst Abril started to fight back well in the middle rounds and started to bag himself rounds he was always at risk of the head from Bogere. Sadly it was whilst looking after himself that Abril was deducted a point by Russell Mora who had taken it uAbril had been waned the deduction was genuinely unwarranted due to the style of Bogere who was charging forward almost like a rhino.
Thankfully Abril took the point deduction as a hint to get fighting and from then on he looked a class above Bogere as he landed counters on an onrushing and tiring opponent. The Ugandan showed heart and grit yet lacked the finesse in his attacks to really trouble Abril who had started landing combinations on to his challenger.
Unfortunately for the challenger his hopes were further dashed as he not only started to be tagged but was starting to get warned by Mora who was starting to realise that Bogere was the man causing the dirty action with his head. Eventually those infractions of Bogere got a well deserved point deduction in the final round as Abril managed to hold on, despite being bloodied to take a wide and comfortable decision.
Although Abril certainly wasn't at his best here, he showed some of the skills that would make Adrien Broner genuinely struggle with him. Bogere however showed that a size difference could play a big part in a fight as he struggled to get close to the champion and when he did he was smothered excellently.