The path to another world title is finally clear for IBO cruiserweght champion, Kevin “Two Guns” Lerena. He will be taking on Belgian, Bilal Laggoune, for the WBC’s silver title in the new 224-pound bridgerweight division on the 13th of March at Emperor’s Palace.
The silver champion represents the WBC’s second tier title, just below the world champion and should Lerena prevail, he will be guaranteed a shot at the vacant WBC bridgerweight world title, according to promoter Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves, who co-promotes Lerena in association with DiBella Entertainment.
Despite an extremely difficult 2020, Lerena has managed to see action twice, scoring stoppages against former WBA champion, Firat Arslan and most recently, Patrick Ferguson, to run his record to 26-1 with 13 knockouts. The Ferguson fight was held at a catchweight above the cruiserweight limit, so the heavier weight will not come as a shock for the South African, who is ranked third in the division by the WBC.
The 28-year-old Laggoune is an experienced campaigner, sporting a solid 25-2-2 record with 14 knockouts. He is also a former Belgian, European Union and IBF intercontinental cruiserweight champion and is ranked number 12 in the division by the WBC. His only two losses came by split and majority decisions, the last one in the UK. He moves well around the ring and likes to box behind a quick jab, using it to set up a well varied offense.
The pair have a common opponent in Dmytro Kucher, whom Laggoune fought to a draw in 2015. Lerena outpointed Kucher in 2018 in defense of his IBO world title, a belt he has defended six times.
This will be the first bout since the WBC has introduced the Bridgerweight division and for the winner history in the annals of the WBC is assured, contesting the first world title at Bridgerweight.
In so far as Lerena is concerned he’s intent in being the third boxer from South Africa to lift the famous green belt.