By Andreas Hale
Photos: Mary Ann Owen/Boxinginlasvegas.com
On Saturday night at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, Richard “The Tiger” Abril and Sharif “The Lion” Bogere will let their fists fly in an effort to prove who is the king of boxing’s four sided jungle. But on Thursday it was their respective trainers that set off fireworks. When Bogere (23-0, 15 KOs) took to the podium, it was all pleasantries as the Ugandan fighter spoke with the usual bravado.
“On Saturday night, I’m going to take care of business,” Bogere said. “I’m 100 percent prepared and ready to go. On Saturday, I’ll become champion of the world.”
It was your usual peaceful press conference until Bogere’s trainer Ken Adams became seemingly annoyed when Richard Abril took to the podium. There were no signs of either side having animosity towards the other but something set Adams off and he launched into a tirade that caught everyone by surprise.
“You can’t win running,” Adams repeated several times from his seat as Abril (17-3-1, 8 KOs) began to speak. Adams may have been referencing Abril’s style, which saw him lose a highly disputed split decision to Brandon Rio last April. It was a fight that certainly wasn’t pretty, but most thought Abril won handily.
By the time Abril realized what was happening, Adams had pressed forward full steam ahead and took over the podium.
“When I watched tapes of your [Abril’s] fights, I couldn’t tell if you were on the track team (because you run so much), or if you were on the wrestling team (because of the way you fight inside),” he said with his voice rising every so often. “The Lion’s last meal is going to be Abril!”
Team Abril couldn’t contain themselves and had to respond to Adams’ chest thumping. Abril’s advisor Ricardo Rizzo fired right back. “With all due respect to the trainer, Abril isn’t running from anyone and he is ready to fight March 2.” Rizzo said. “We trained him properly and he’s not going to run.”
Meanwhile, Abril still had a statement to make. But apparently, the events that took place in front of him bay have caused him to slightly change his tune. “I don’t understand the reason behind the trainer talking so much,” Abril said. “I’m not going to run, I’m going to knock out Sharif.”
Clearly that wasn’t the direction he anticipated the conversation to go. But as any good fighter knows, you have to roll with the punches. It’s just a matter of who is going to impose their will upon who. One thing is for sure, however, there is a whole new interest surrounding this fight.