Tonight’s Showtime card is for the hardcore boxing fans with a main event featuring Richard Abril vs. Sharif Bogere for the WBA lightweight title and featherweight prospect Gary Russell Jr. against Vyacheslav Gusev.
Abril: 134.5 lbs.
Bogere: 134 lbs.
Prediction: A lot of people have been panning this fight and on paper you can’t really blame them. Both are talented but have deserved reputations for being spoilers and not putting on entertaining matchups. Nonetheless, a boxing nerd like myself finds bouts like this intriguing from a stylistic standpoint. I think Abril’s height and long arms will give Bogere a lot of problems on the outside and when he does get inside, Abril’s octopus-like length will allow him to cover up well and prevent Bogere from landing clean with any regularity. Bogere will probably be more active, so that could end up being a major factor once this goes to the cards. Abril by split decision.
Russell Jr.: 127 lbs.
Gusev: 126.3 lbs.
Prediction: This is only Gusev’s second fight in the States and first in nearly a year — he last fought and won a disputed 12-round decision over Padjai Yungyuthgym (who dropped Gusev in the first round). Gusev’s most notable opponent was in 2008 when he lost a decision to Juan Carlos Burgos. Russell shouldn’t have much trouble here and Gusev probably won’t give Russell more work than the combined six rounds he’s fought over his two 2012 bouts. Speaking of which, Russell needs to be much more active this year to deliver on his claims of wanting to be in the title picture with the likes of Abner Mares. Russell TKO4.