Former IBO cruiserweight champion, Kevin “Two Guns” Lerena, will be making his much-anticipated heavyweight debut against the 20-3 Romanian, Bogdan Dinu, at Emperor’s Palace on the 19th of March.
The 12-rounder will be for the vacant WBA Continental heavyweight title and a win should result in a world rating from the sanctioning body.
“The heavyweights are just different. People take notice. People are calling me to ask when the fight is happening,” says promoter Rodney Berman.
The 26-1 Lerena had an excellent run at cruiserweight. He made six defenses of his IBO world title, ending up in the world-wide top five of the independent rankings of both The Ring and Transnational Boxing Rankings Board.
Is he a heavyweight though? That is the question everyone wants to see answered.
Dinu should at least begin to answer that question. All three of his losses have been to top names in the division. He suffered his first defeat to Jarrell Miller back in 2018. The next year he gave two-time world title challenger, Kubrat Pulev, all he could handle. He had Pulev reeling from his combinations in the third round and opened a bad gash over the Bulgarian’s left eye in the fourth. Pulev pulled himself together and got rid of Dinu in the seventh with the fight still even on two cards. That fight was probably Dinu’s best performance. After two wins, he was beaten by Daniel Dubois in his last fight in June of this year for the WBA interim world title.
Will the southpaw Lerena be able to hit hard enough to get the respect of the big boys?
It would be interesting to see if Lerena can defeat Dinu in a similar fashion as Miller, Pulev and Dubois. Unless you have the superb skillset of Oleksandr Usyk, power seems to be an essential attribute for a heavyweight.
Will Lerena be able to take a heavyweight shot?
That is another question mark. With 16 knockouts, Dinu has a decent right hand. Also, standing 6’ 5”in his socks, he is a properly sized heavyweight and will have a substantial height and reach advantage.
In true Golden Gloves style, there is a lot more planned for the evening.
What a way to punch off the New Year!