South Africa’s Kevin Lerena makes the fourth defense of his IBO belt when he faces the #28 IBO ranked Vasil Ducar from the Czech Republic, at the Emperors Palace Casino near Kempton Park on a Golden Gloves Promotions tournament billed as “KO KINGS” on Saturday night.
The 27-year-old Lerena (22-1, 10 KOs), who fights from the southpaw stance, won the vacant IBO belt on September 9, 2017, with a split decision win over Youri Kayembre Kalenga at Emperors Palace. Since winning the belt he has shown marked improvement under the guidance of the Smith brothers who operate out of their gym in Cedar Square.
He has now looked good in making three successful defenses of the belt against Dmytro Kucher (pts 12), Roman Golovashchenko (pts 12) and Artur Mann (tko 4).
Ducar, 29, who has only been fighting as a pro since April 2017 and racked up a record of 7-0-1, 6 KOs, stopped the previously unbeaten Samuel Kadje in the tenth round on September 29 last year to claim the vacant WBF Intercontinental cruiserweight belt.
The only blot on his record was a split draw against Vladir Rezincek (8-2-1) on June 23, 2018, with scores of 95-94, 95-95 and 96-94.
Even though Ducar has limited experience, he comes from the tough school of MMA fighting where he won three fights and lost two according to the Sherdog website.
The champion goes into the fight as the favorite but the unknown Ducar who is bigger than Lerena has knockout power with six wins inside the distance and MMA experience which could prove dangerous.
This is a must win for Lerena who is ranked at #7 by the WBC, #9 by the WBA and at #8 by the IBF, so that he can challenge for one of the major organization belts on offer.
There are two good matchups on the undercard with Jabulani Makhense 7-0; 4 making the first defense of his WBA Pan African junior-welterweight title and WBA Pan African junior-middleweight champion Boyd Allen 4-0; 3 in against Alexksandra Zhuravskiy 13-5; 11 of Kazakhstan in a scheduled eight-rounder.
Other fighters featured on the bill are Aidan Quin, Ruarke Knapp, Keaton Gomes, Ricardo Malijika, Arnel Lubisi and Amador Kalonji.