The Venue: A Palace. Emperors Palace
The Participants: Gladiators of the modern kind
The Main battle: Kevin Lerena vs. Artur Mann,
The fans were thoroughly entertained, the Lerena fight going beyond expectations. It was simply Superb. The IBO Cruiserweight Crown never changed hands and it never looked like it was going to either. Kevin “Two Guns” Lerena, had his Mann (no pun intended) worked out and defended his title in scintillating fashion with the Ref calling it off at 2:37 into the 4th round.
Two knockdowns and the Challenger had had enough. Lerena was well prepared, Peter Smith did a fantastic job getting him ready and that after shoulder surgery and a 9 month layoff was impressive. No ring rust, just a focused, more powerful, KO kid I might add.
Speed, power and pin point accuracy saw Lerena make light work of Artur Mann, who it must be said was in shape and looked very confident coming into the fight. In fact most fans gave him a very close 1st round which silenced the full house crowd at Emperor’s. The 2nd and 3rd rounds belonged to Lerena as he fired off combinations and some cracking body shots that troubled Mann late in the 3rd.
The 4th started at a fast pace and Lerena decided to pressure the German challenger, who tasted the full might of the Two Guns’ Bazooka. A right hook to the Head was the final shot that finished the fight; he could not and would not carry on. The first knockdown coming from a neat combination that caught Artur Mann coming in.
A brilliant win for Lerena. And with Usyk almost certain to move up to Heavyweight we will almost certainly see Lerena in a unification fight and it will be justly deserved.
An unusual attendance at boxing is three Hall of Famers namely Wilfried Sauerland, Stan Chrostodolou and Brian Mitchell – 3 boxing legends in attendance and rightfully so.
The Undercard – Roarke Knapp was incredibly impressive and lived up to expectation by stopping Thembani Mhlanga in the 2nd round of a slated 8. He was just too slick, has a wonderful jab and although the smaller man in this fight, he has very good power in his left hand. Knapp moves his record to (7-0-1, 6KO’s)
Frank Rodrigues vs. Michael Markram was always going to be a close fight and did not disappoint, action packed and both boxers had to dig deep as it was a grueling, tough fight that Rodrigues took control of by getting inside of Markram and he got the win on all 3 Judges Cards. Rodrigues moves to (6-1-0, 4KO’s). He looked a bit flabby at light heavy. Hopefully he gets down to Super middle
A fight most fans were thinking was going to be an easy win for Boyd Allen turned out to be a proper test of his courage and conditioning. This barn burner went into the 1tth round before John Bopape sank to his hands and knees after a nice uppercut. A delayed reaction to a super punch had Bopape telling the ref no more, and Allen is the WBA Pan African Champion after only 3 fights.
Keaton Gomes made it a tough night for himself but can hardly be blamed for that. Faradji Said came to survive and only for the fact that he has a very good chin and kept on holding did he manage to go the 8 rounds. Said had no intentions of winning this fight, he felt Gomes’s power early on and knew he was in for a tough night. This was so one sided that all 3 judges had it 80-71. Nice to see Keaton bank some tough rounds as his first 4 fights did not go the distance.
In 2 other fights on the undercard, Xhek Paskali and Alex Kabangu fought to a draw over 4 rounds.
Gift Bholo took on Timo Schwarzkopf in a welterweight contest which Gift won by majority decision. Although the fight was awarded to Gift there was general unhappiness at very poor judgment and his camp have petitioned for an immediate reversal of what the general consensus is, a very bad decision. Report by