The rematch has percolated for 18 months – finally, Johnny Muller versus Kevin Lerena is a go!
The fight was signed months ago, but it was all confirmed at Emperors Palace on Wednesday afternoon when the pair came face to face at the official media conference announcing “The Brawl for it All” on April 24.
Golden Gloves also announced that the tournament will be broadcast live on SuperSport.
The WBA Pan-African and SA cruiserweight titles will be on the line in the main event, with Muller (19-5-2) looking to do the double over his local rival. In November 2014 he had too many smarts for Lerena (13-1), outworking him over 12 rounds and inflicting the youngster his first career defeat.
Much has happened in the interim. Lerena rebounded with two workmanlike wins and has most recently profited from a tough training camp with former WBC cruiserweight champion Grigory Drozd in Russia.
Muller also had two subsequent wins, one a highly controversial decision over world-rated Mateusz Masternak, but was belted by Oleksandr Usyk in his most recent outing, last August.
Promoter Rodney Berman also announced a top incentive for the winner – a crack against Roberto Bolonti, one of the division’s gatekeepers. The former light-heavyweight world title challenger from Argentina is as tough as they come and gave world class Youri Kalenga a rugged challenge on a Golden Gloves bill in Monte Carlo last year.
Berman was positively beaming at the quality of the bill, which also features seven other fights with some of the best up-and-coming talent from South Africa.
They include junior-flyweight star DeeJay Kriel, hard-hitting junior-bantamweight Joshua Studdard, bantamweight Ronald Malindi, exciting junior-middleweight Brandon Thysse and the trio of Hansie Carr, Lucky Mongebane and Sterling Shaw.
Almost all of them were on the last “Prospects at the Palace” show, an event that had fans on their feet.