WBA World Lightweight Champion Richar Abril says Derry Mathews is out of his depth against him and will get knocked out when they collide at the Liverpool Echo Arena on Friday March 6.
Abril travels to Mathews's Merseyside hotbed to make the third defence of his world title and claims that the Liverpool hero has a weak chin and won't be able to hold his heavy shots.
The Cuban, now based out of Florida, is the biggest test of Mathews's 12-year career and although he's had fewer fights than Mathews, he's fought at a higher level with a ledger that includes extending hard-hitting US star Brandon Rios the distance, plus back-to-back title defences in his last two fights against unbeaten challengers.
"Mathews is a tough veteran and he is a smart fighter that pushes the pace... I rate him an 8 out of 10. He has a good jab, and good defence but I don't think his chin will stand up to my punches," said Abril.
"He has fought tough competition and has a lot of ring experience. I believe I've fought more world class fighters than him, but he's going to need every round of experience on March 6.
"He is the one who has been KO'd 7 times in his career to my 0. He is the one who should be worried about his chin and my punching power.
"I definitely cannot leave it to the judges so I will be looking for the KO. There is no way Mathews is taking my title. I am coming to Liverpool to knock him out and I'm leaving with MY title."
The IBF World Super-Flyweight Championship between Zolani Tete & Paul Butler and the WBA World Lightweight Championship between Richar Abril & Derry Mathews headlines the Mersey Boys show that also features:
- Liam Smith's vacant WBO Intercontinental Light-Middleweight title challenge
- Kevin Satchell's defence of the European Flyweight Championship
- Jazza Dickens v Josh Wale for the Vacant British Super-Bantamweight Championship
- Jack Catterall's defence of the WBO European Light-Welterweight Championship
- The return of Tom Stalker in an eight-round contest
- The return of Stephen Lewis in a six-round contest
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