By James Bakama
Richard Abril bt Sharif Bogere
Scores: 115-111, 116-110 and 116-110
HEIGHT proved a crucial factor as Sharif Bogere’s quest for WBA lightweight title ended in a loss to Cuba’s Richard Abril on Saturday night.
The 5’6”Bogere was outwitted by Abril 5’11” at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas in a fight where the Cuban made good use of his superior reach.
Bogere was the busier guy in the first half of the fight, as he rushed forward constantly throwing wild shots.
However, Abril did a good job of leaning away from Bogere’s big swings, causing them to miss. Abril was using the shoulder roll defense and it worked well for him in avoiding Bogere’s shots.
Referee Russell Mora took a point away from Abril in the 8th for holding Bogere. In the 12th, Mora evened things out by taking a point away from Bogere for charging with his head.
It would have been a much closer fight if a point hadn’t been deducted from Bogere in the final round for head butting.
It was Bogere’s first loss in a professional career that begun in 2008. The loss should serve as a wakeup call for Bogere, who at 24, is yet to get to his prime.
As he goes back to the drawing board, he will have to seriously work on a strategy of countering taller opponents.
Bogere, contracted by one of the top boxing stables-Golden Boy Promotions, should be able to get another title shot later in the year.
A win on Saturday would have had Bogere soaring to heights earlier reached by former Ugandan world champions Ayub Kalule, Boza Edwards, John Mugabi, Kassim Ouma and Jackson Asiku.