Lerena retains the IBO title with sixth round stoppage that crushes Arslan and his dream of winning a world title at 49. In the first Arslan tried to walk forward behind the high guard so favoured by German boxers but Lerena constantly pierced his guard with right jabs and found the target with straight left and body punches. More of the same in the second. Lerena was stabbing home jabs firing hooks to the body and curving punches around Arslan’s high guard with Arslan on the back foot and only tossing a few jabs.
It was target practice for Lerena in the third as he teed-off on a static Arslan connecting with clubbing punches from both hands with Arslan indulging in the occasional jab and actually landing one good uppercut. Arslan did much better in the fourth, He was finally throwing punches and putting together some combinations. Lerena was still landing with his jab and thudding body shots but Arslan did enough to at least share the round.
Lerena was back in charge in the fifth. He speared Arslan with a whole series of jabs and then began to unload heavy shots rocking Arslan and driving him back to the ropes and then pounding him some more and Arslan was under fire at the bell. Lerena jabbed Arslan persistently in the sixth before connecting with a booming left to the head that sent Arslan staggering back across the ring. Lerena chased him to the ropes and was pummelling him with punches when the referee stepped in and stopped the fight just as the towel came in from Arslan’s corner. Arslan was not happy with his corner but it was the right decision.
The 27-year-old from Johannesburg was making the sixth defence of the IBO title with his thirteenth win in a row. He was No 2 with the WBA going into this one and since none of their myriad of champions are involved in the WSSB that may be a route for him. He is No 3 with the IBF with the No 2 spot vacant so he could be in line to face the winner of the Yuniel Dorticos vs. Mairis Breidis final so there are options for him to test himself against the best. Arslan’s age caught up with him and he fought like an old man whose best days are way past.