Kevin Lerena delivers his 'best fight'

Kevin Lerena lands a punch on Artur Mann of Germany during his IBO cruiserweight title defence at Emperor's Palace.
Kevin Lerena lands a punch on Artur Mann of Germany during his IBO cruiserweight title defence at Emperor's Palace.
Image: Masi Losi

Hard-punching left-hander Kevin "Two Guns" Lerena produced his best ever performance as a boxer since the former horseracing jockey fought his first professional match in 2011.

But those who saw him prepare for Artur "Thunderman" Mann, said Lerena trained like someone who was broke yet he comes from a wealthy horse racing family.

Trainer Colin Nathan laid the solid foundation which has turned Lerena into this fighting machine before the boxer joined Sean Smith.

Lerena, who later teamed up with Smith's older brother Peter, has in no time become a real force and he proved that on Saturday night by easily disposing of previously undefeated Mann over four rounds. It was Lerena's third successful defence of his IBO cruiserweight belt.

"I told you during the week that I will stop this guy, but obviously the look in your eyes was that of someone who did not believe me," said the man whose last short-route win was in 2017.

Lerena's last four bouts were decided by judges. He bettered his record to 12 short-route wins in 22 wins against a single loss.

The burly boxer added: "I am 26-years-old and I am not shy to say that I am still learning the game.

"I have a great team behind me - my trainer Peter Smith; my strength conditioner and my promoter Rodney Berman. My career was almost taken away by a shoulder injury, which kept me out of action for nine months; Rodney stood by me."

Smith said: "We had a superb game plan - to size this guy out in round one - and then take the fight straight to him and see if he can withstand Kevin's power. It worked like magic."

Mann tasted defeat after 15 straight wins.

Earlier in the night, Frank Rodriguez captured the vacant Gauteng light heavyweight belt by a deserved unanimous points decision against Michael Markram.

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