Kevin Lerena's knuckles itchy for 5th defence

Kevin Lerena defends his IBO belt against Dymtro Kucher of the Ukraine on Saturday ./Alon Skuy
Kevin Lerena defends his IBO belt against Dymtro Kucher of the Ukraine on Saturday ./Alon Skuy
Image: Alon Skuy

SA's highest paid professional boxer Kevin "Two Guns" Lerena returns to the office - a boxing ring - on Saturday night at Emperors Palace where his 36-minute work will earn him almost R1m.

That is only if the fifth defence of his IBO cruiserweight title against 40-year-old Sefer Seferi goes the full 12 rounds, which is unlikely if Lerena's preparations for the Macedonian, who is rated No 30, are anything to go by.

The 27-year-old left-handed champion - who has previously held the SA, WBF Africa, WBC Youth and WBA Pan African belts since he started fighting as a professional boxer in 2011 - has been training like he is broke financially.

"Sharpening up; nothing personal, just business; my knuckles are getting itchy," said the man who lives in a posh house in Cedar Lakes said after one of his sessions.

The fight on Saturday will be Lerena's third this year and credit to Golden Gloves promotions, which is behind his prospering boxing career.

Lerena's work ethic has enabled him to win fights that would otherwise have been very difficult based on the fact that he is a novice by boxing standards.

He has no amateur background but his consistency has earned him the No 5 rating by the World Boxing Council (WBC), No 11th position by the International Boxing Federation (IBF) and Ring Magazine has placed him sixth.

Lerena's last ring appearance was in June when he spoilt the record of battle-scarred Czech Republic boxer Vasil Ducar who tasted defeat in his eighth fight.

In Seferi, Lerena will be up against a fighter who has been a professional boxer since 2006 with no silverware.

Based in Switzerland, Seferi has 23 wins, two defeats and a draw. One of his recent losses was against former WBA/IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.

Allen Matakane from East London, Olen Pobyvailo (Belgium) and Frank-Michael Mass (Germany) will be judges for the Lerena-Seferi fight. Jean Robert Lain of Monaco will referee.

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