Two Guns shoots for title in new division

Lerena survives helicopter crash, gets nod for WBC belt

FILE IMAGE: Boxer Kevin Lerena during the Emperors Palace, Supersport and GOLDEN Gloves announcement of the Supersport/Emperors Palace Three Tournament Festival of Boxing at Lucretia Room, Emperors Palace at June 11, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
FILE IMAGE: Boxer Kevin Lerena during the Emperors Palace, Supersport and GOLDEN Gloves announcement of the Supersport/Emperors Palace Three Tournament Festival of Boxing at Lucretia Room, Emperors Palace at June 11, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

IBO cruiserweight boxing champion Kevin "Two Guns" Lerena is counting his lucky stars after surviving a helicopter crash on Sunday morning.

The 28-year-old left-handed boxer, also a qualified paramedic, escaped death with the skin of his teeth and lived to tell the tale.

Still shaken, the boxer said: “I suffered minor injuries; I am still alive and necessary authorities will investigate the incident.”

Lerena's trainer Peter Smith added: “They were doing some training which went wrong and the helicopter went out of control and it came down crashing. By the grace of God, no one died. Kevin suffered minor injuries and I understand that the instructor was injured but they all alive which is the most important one. Most guys who went through similar accidents either suffered severe injuries or died. The helicopter is a complete right-off.”

Lerena is on the verge of making boxing history by being the first African to fight for the WBC’s newly introduced bridgerweight division. Named in honour of Bridger Walker, a six-year-old US boy who saved her younger sister from a stray dog attack, the new division is above cruiserweight and and just below heavyweight.

Lerena expressed excitement for the opportunity. His promoter Rodney Berman had initially planned to stage that fight at Emperors Palace on March 13, but has since postponed it to April 14.

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