Kevin Lerena must prove mettle against Sefer Seferi
A below-par performance for South Africa's future world boxing champion Kevin Lerena, no matter the margins against 40-year-old Sefer Seferi tomorrow night, would be a damp squib to the masses who think highly of this IBO cruiserweight champion.
His honesty inside the roped square ring has earned Lerena the No 5 rating by WBC; the No 6 spot in the WBA rankings while the IBF put him in the 11th spot.
The Ring Magazine - which is widely regarded as the Bible of Boxing - has Lerena in the No 6 spot just below current WBC Silver champion Ilunga Makabu.
Lerena has only a single loss in 24 fights, including acid tests against the likes of Micki Nielsen, Dymtro Kucher and Roman Golovashchenko.
Lerena avenged his loss to Johnny Muller with a stoppage.
He will welcome the Macedonian - who is rated only by the IBO at No 30 - at Emperors Palace tomorrow.
Seferi is said to have started the sport with wrestling and when his family moved to Switzerland in 1992, he and his brother Nuri took up boxing.
Seferi fought his first pro fight in 2007 and chalked up 251 straight wins against average fighters until he tasted defeat against Manuel Charr for the WBA International heavyweight belt.
Seferi then met Tyson Fury, who easily dispatched him within distance in June last year.
Basically, Seferi is on his way out and it is for these reasons that SA's highest paid boxer - Lerena - must dust him aside within a distance to give promoter Rodney Berman clear indication as to which direction he must steer his charge.
The main supporting bout looks scary and it gives an impression of a match-up that is not for the faint-hearted.
Jabulani Makhense and Marios Matamba are undefeated in their young careers.
Makhense holds the WBA Pan African junior welterweight belt while Matamba is the IBF Continental African titlist. They meet in the winner-takes-all clash.
Prospects Keaton Gomes and Lebo Mashitoa will meet for the Gauteng vacant cruiserweight belt.
Action from this Fists of Steel tournament to be organised by Golden Gloves is expected to begin at 7.30pm.