Boxing Snippets

‘Two Guns’ Lerena goes searching for Justis

Kevin Lerena is in the enviable position of facing a win-win scenario as his next fight looms in the heavyweight division.
Despite his status as one of the stars of the fast emerging bridgerweight division, he will step up to face unbeaten heavyweight Justis Huni of Australia on March 8. Not only will it be on a vast stage – on the undercard of the Anthony Joshua-Francis Ngannou crossover bout – but whatever the result his standing as the WBC’s interim bridgerweight titleholder will be unaffected.
“This really is the best of both worlds,” said promoter Rodney Berman. “The opportunity is too big to let go, and the bridgerweight situation gives Kevin a free pass. He’s always said he’d fight at the heavier weight if the money and the opponent was right, so here we are.”
Lerena has spent recent weeks sparring with heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, and in missives to Berman he has indicated his willingness to travel to Saudi Arabia for the showdown.
Huni, just 24, ranks among the heavyweight division’s most dangerous emerging talents. In his most high profile fight, he banged out former rugby league star Paul Gallen. However, a better idea of his form came in his recent win over former cruiserweight world title challenger Andrew Tabiti.
The taller Huni used his long jab well as the basis to uncork his power shots against a man who knew how to look after himself. The WBA International heavyweight belt was on the line, as it will be against Lerena, and Huni was largely untroubled..
As a consequence of Lerena taking the fight, the planned Keaton Gomes-Shaun Potgieter bout at Emperors Palace on March 9 has been pushed out to May 11. This is because trainer Peter Smith will be in Saudi Arabia with Lerena, and no one wants Gomes to fight without his regular cornerman in tow.
Lerena thus cements his standing as South Africa’s most visible fighter, adopting a have-bags-will-travel approach as he seeks to win titles and maintain his profile at the most thrilling point in his career.

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