Liverpool lightweight Mathews was given a shot at Abril’s WBA title after original opponent Anthony Crolla suffered serious head and ankle injuries confronting suspected burglars.
But the Cuban has a viral infection which has left him unable to train, and contest will not now happen on March 6.
Mathews remains in line to tackle Abril at a later date, according to the champion’s lawyer Gregory Bloom, who said: “We definitely want to have Abril defend his title against Derry Mathews, and it is our hope that we can reschedule the fight for early April or as close to that time frame as possible.”
Mathews’ promoter Frank Warren said:??”It’s very unfortunate that this has happened, and Derry will have to wait just a little longer to get his world title opportunity.
“We hope that Richar recovers from his viral infection quickly and is able to get back into training to defend his title against Derry as soon as possible, which we are all really looking forward to.”
Mathews will now fight against an as-yet unnamed opponent on March 6, and he tweeted: “Life goes on. I’ll??be still involved in a great fight, I don’t do things easy so am expecting a busy night.
“I’m still fighting March 6, not worth crying over it. There are people worse off than me in life.”
Crolla, meanwhile, hopes to be back in action as early as late May.