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Tete believes Lerena can win second world title

Zolani Tete in action against Omar Andres Narvaez in Belfast, Ireland.
Zolani Tete in action against Omar Andres Narvaez in Belfast, Ireland.
Image: Getty Images/ David Fitzgerald

Kevin "Two Guns" Lerena is not only capable of winning a second world title, but he also deserves a crack at one of the major titles from the four most respected sanctioning bodies.

This is the view of Lerena's compatriot Zolani Tete, who touted Lerena's ability to achieve this feat, provided he is given an opportunity to challenge any of the champions who reign in the WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO divisions.

Lerena, the reigning IBO cruiserweight champion, bids for the sixth defence of his cruiserweight belt against former WBA champion Firat Aslan in Germany on Saturday. The left-hander is rated No 2 by the WBA and third by the IBF.

"Kevin deserves a crack at those big titles, and he will shock a lot of people. He's got all the brains and the talent to go all the way. Kevin's work ethic will be an added advantage because he always comes superfit. Kevin has shown great maturity under trainer Peter Smith," Tete said.

Among the candidates that stands between Lerena and this feat is Kazakhstani Beibut Shumenov, who is the WBA champion, as well as Yuniel Dorticos from Cuba, who holds the IBF belt. SA-based Congolese Ilunga Makabu was crowned the WBC holder only last weekend, and is also on Lerena's radar. The WBO belt is vacant.

Lerena has no amateur background but has defeated vastly experienced opponents, including German Micki Nielsen, France-based Congolese Youri Kalenga and Roman Galavashchenko from Ukraine. The fight on Saturday will be Lerena's third outside SA. He has 24 wins, 11 knockouts against a single loss, while Arslan has 32 knockouts in 47 wins against eight losses and three draws.

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