There were too many headlocks, too many clinches, and ref Russell Mora had to work way too hard for his check. No, this was no classic in the main event at the Joint at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas on Saturday night. But Richar Abril had his hand raised after 12 rounds of mauling and brawling against Sharif Bogere on Showtime, proving himself to be the better man in this ugly style of pugilism.
The judges scored it 115-111, 116-110, 116-110.
Golden Boy promoted.
The WBA lightweight champion Abril (age 30; 134 1/2; from Cuba, living in Miami) entered at 17-2-1, while Bogere (age 24; from Uganda; 134 pounds; WBA No. 2 ) was 23-0 coming in.
In the first, Abril landed a three punch combo. Abril went down from a shove. We wondered if Abril could maintain the distance he wanted or Bogere's quicker feet could get him inside.
In the second, the shorter Bogere looked to rassle and manhandle Abril. Ref Russell Mora told both men to keep it clean with 30 seconds to go.
In the third, Abril picked his shots and spots. Bogie threw more, got busier, got in his face in the fourth. Mora told Abril not to do headlocks at the end of the round.
A clash of heads in round six occured when Bogere pulled Abril's face toward his head. Abril now had two cuts to deal with. A right, a looping long one, landed on the Cuban. The cut on the right eye was smeared with blood.
The thing got uglier, and Mora warned both men in the seventh for ruffian tactics.
Mora took a point from Abril for holding early in the eighth. The Cuban was landing sharp, clean rights by now.
Abril's right hand kept on doing damage in the tenth. Bogie got tired in round eight or so, and his defense suffered. In round 11, we saw Bogere actually leap in, try and close the gap. In the 12th, Bogere had a point taken for butting. We went to the cards.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV