Kevin Lerena puts R15m price tag on himself
Kevin Lerena says he has rejected offers to fight big names abroad because the money fell short of his $1m (R15.3m) price tag.
“I’ve been offered the big fights‚ but not for the money we wanted‚” the holder of the marginal IBO cruiserweight title said on Thursday afternoon‚ adding he was looking for “million dollar” payday.
“I’ll never sell myself short‚” Lerena said at a public work-out ahead of his defence against Sefer Seferi at Emperors Palace on September 21.
He was responding to critics who were unhappy over the choice of Lerena’s opponent‚ 40-year-old Seferi‚ with a record of 23 wins‚ two losses and a draw.
Lerena’s previous foe was an eight-bout novice.
Seferi‚ a one-time heavyweight‚ was kissed on the lips by Tyson Fury and then smacked in the kisser before quitting on his stool at the start of the fifth round last year.
For a while local boxing fans have been told that Lerena is one fight away from a big shot‚ but that was a few fights ago.
Trainer-manager Peter Smith said he was confident it would happen early next year.
“It’ll happen‚" he said.
"The offers have been coming our way‚ but they’ve been for under $1m.”
For the risk of fighting a big name in their backyard‚ the Lerena camp isn’t going to budge on their demand.
“Now they must just sharpen their pencils‚” said Smith.
Lerena‚ 27‚ has a record of 24-1.
Also on the September 21 bill is a potentially mouth-watering contest between two unbeaten junior-welterweights‚ Jabulani Makhensi and Marios Matamba.
Makhensi‚ a clinical boxer‚ and Matamba‚ a hard-punching aggressor‚ could provide a classic encounter for the fans.