The countdown to ‘Night of Reckoning’ has begun!

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Three of the cruiserweights involved in the ‘Super Four’ – Johnny Muller, Micki Nielsen and Kevin Lerena.

The open workout at Smith’s Gym on Tuesday afternoon may have had elements of being a media exercise, but the steel and focus of the fighters was strongly evident.

Three of the four cruiserweights in action – Kevin Lerena, Johnny Muller and Micki Nielsen – were on hand showing their wares ahead of the “Super Four” at Emperors Palace next weekend.

Some immediate impressions:

  • Lerena is pumped for the challenge and loves the idea of stepping up a level.
  • Muller is as laid-back as ever, but looked sharp in his public workout.
  • Nielsen is with good reason the favourite – he’s big and unloads a beaut of a right hook.
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Kevin Lerena interviewed by Brian Mitchell with trainer Peter Smith looming in the background.

As ever, Lerena was pointed in his assessment of the challenge of fighting Roberto Bolonti: “This is a big step-up, but I duck no-one. I’m coming to win, even though he’s very solid – he went the distance with Tony Bellew, so he knows how to handle himself.”

Trainer Peter Smith agreed. “We’re excited. There’s no place to hide in this division. We saw what Bellew did to the African number one [Junior Makabu] and Bolonti hung tough with Bellew. He’s only been knocked out once, so there’s a job to be done.”

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Johnny Muller going through his paces.

Muller was the one fighter prepared to stick his neck out and predict that he and Lerena would tangle for a third time, in the Super Four final in October, even though he has the toughest opening fight, against Nielsen.

Muller isn’t afraid of anyone in the division and believes that his experience will overcome the youth and vigour of Nielsen, who hails from Copenhagen.

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Micki Nielsen working the pads with trainer Joey Gamache.

Gamache trains Nielsen and likes his fighter’s prospects. “He’s trained hard. It’s a great-match up and we recognise Johnny’s skills, but Micki has travelled before and is looking to win the tournament. That’s why we’re here.”

A familiar face among the crowd was that of two-time world champion Joey Gamache, who met up with MC Brian Mitchell, who he was down to fight in 1988.

Gamache trains Nielsen and likes his fighter’s prospects. “He’s trained hard. It’s a great-match up and we recognise Johnny’s skills, but Micki has travelled before and is looking to win the tournament. That’s why we’re here.”

The next open day will take place at Colin Nathan’s HotBox gym in Glenhazel at 12 noon on Thursday. All welcome!

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Kevin Lerena, ready, waiting . . .