'Two Guns' shows he can box in title defence

Kevin Lerena connects Dmytro Kucher with a straight left in their IBO world cruiserweight title fight at Emperors Palace on Saturday.
Kevin Lerena connects Dmytro Kucher with a straight left in their IBO world cruiserweight title fight at Emperors Palace on Saturday.
Image: VELI NHLAPO

Kevin "Two Guns" Lerena did not just retain his IBO cruiserweight belt via a deserved unanimous points decision after 12 clean fought rounds, but the South African showed that he can also box if the need arises.

This came to the fore in the main attraction of a four-bout card at Emperors Palace, Kempton Park, at the weekend.

Lerena outfoxed old but still dangerous Dymtro Kucher of Ukraine who came with a reputation of being a knockout artist.

There was a great concern when promoter Rodney Berman announced that Lerena, who has no amateur experience, would make the first defence of his IBO title against Kucher.

Lerena delivered, much to the jubilation of the big crowd which attended Berman's box- and-dine tournament, dubbed Palace Pandemonium, on Saturday.

Lerena showed patience, boxing brilliantly behind his right jab while using his lateral movement to extricate himself from any potential danger.

He used little power but pure boxing skills, dominating the proceedings from round eight onwards. His defence was tight.

It came as no shock when Lerena was declared the winner via a unanimous points decision. The scores were 119-109 (twice) and 117-111.

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