Lerena vows to up his game
SOUTH African cruiserweight prospect Kevin "KO Kid" Lerena has promised to produce a better showing when he meets Georgian Gogita Gorgiladze in a WBC youth cruiserweight title fight at Emperors Palace on September 29.
The 22-year-old performed poorly against Argentinian Marcos Aumada at the same casino last weekend and is well aware that more will be expected from him this time round.
"I'm glad that I will be in action next month [against Gorgiladze], so there will be no ring rust this time round," he said.
Lerena's bout against Gorgiladze, who has chalked up seven wins from 10 outings since he fought Ilunga Makabu at on February 16 last year, will form part of Rodney Berman's Palace Storm bill.
The 20-year-old Georgian was demolished in four rounds by Makabu for the IBF youth cruiserweight belt.
But Lerena knows that his last fight remains in the boxing public's consciousness.
He attributed his laboured showing against the average Aumada - who suffered his third loss against 14 wins - to ring rust rather than ability.
"The long lay-off played a big role in my performance last weekend. I was unable to do what I wanted to do," explained Lerena.
Lerena outpointed the Argentinian over eight rounds and defended his unblemished record of 10 wins from as many fights.
"That fight is now behind us and we are now looking forward to the new challenges," he said.
"Look, I cannot say I am dissatisfied about my performance last weekend although I was never 100% happy. I did what I had to do to win."
Lerena has left six of his 10 victims gasping for air. He holds the WBF Africa junior heavyweight title he won on September 21 after blowing Ghanaian Ibrahim Labaran away in the second round at Heartfelt Arena in Pretoria.
Berman's bill will also feature the tantalising 10-round shootout between former world champions Malcolm "The Stone" Klassen and Thabo "Super Eagle" Sonjica.
The showdown has generated a lot of interest as the former has held the IBF twice and WBF junior lightweight titles.
Sonjica, on the other hand, is the former IBO junior featherweight holder.