Boxing News

LERENA: “I WAKE UP AND THINK OF ARTUR MANN”

Kevin Lerena (21-1, 9 KOs) says he is fully focused on Artur Mann (15-0, 8 KOs) as ‘The KO Kid’ puts his IBO World Cruiserweight title on the line against the German challenger on Saturday at the Emperors Palace in Johannesburg.

Lerena claimed the IBO strap with a split decision over Youri Kayembre Kalenga in September 2017, before successfully defending his belt with unanimous points wins against Dmytro Kucher and Roman Golovashchenko.

Heading into his third defence, the 26 year-old insists he is leaving nothing to chance, and admits he has even been waking up thinking about his opponent.

“I know everybody is talking about Oleksandr Usyk moving up to heavyweight, and what’s going to happen to his belts, but to be honest, I don’t really care,” said Lerena. “My only focus is this fight. I wake up and think of Artur Mann.

“I know I need to take care of business against him. He’s 15-0, he’s coming off a very credible record, and he has my full attention. This is a big fight for me. Yes, on paper, I’ve had big fights before, Kalenga, Kucher, Golovashchenko, Nielsen, but these are in the past, and I need to focus on what’s in front of me.

“I’m war ready! I know he’s going to bring it, and I’m going to bring it too. I’ve never been a guy to cherry pick opponents. I want tough fights because I believe I elevate myself the harder the fight, and I enjoy the challenge.”

Lerena’s coach Peter Smith, of Smith’s Gym, echoes his fighter’s sentiments, and states they will not be taking the Hannover-boxer lightly.

“This is a serious fight for us,” he says. “We’re not overlooking Artur Mann in anyway. Artur is a serious opponent with a great team behind him. We’re taking this fight very seriously, and looking forward to a great battle!”

Lerena-Mann is a co-promotion between Team Sauerland and South Africa’s premier promoter Golden Gloves, led by Rodney Berman, who describes Saturday’s match-up as one of the country’s ‘biggest cruiserweight fights ever’.

“This has got to be one of the biggest cruiserweight fights ever in South Africa,” said Berman. “It’s common knowledge that Usyk is going to be moving up, so now every other cruiserweight is fighting for their place in the sun, and Kevin will be the only remaining World Champion when he gives up the belts.”

German boxing fans can watch all the action from the Emperors Palace live on Sport1, with Timo Schwarzkopf and Xhek Paskali fighting on the undercard.

Undefeated junior welterweight prospect Kendo Castaneda to be showcased at home

LAS VEGAS (March 14, 2019) — Undefeated junior welterweight prospect Kendo Castaneda will be showcased at home Thursday, March 28, when he puts his unblemished record on the line against his dangerous Dominican opponent, Eudy “AK47” Bernado, in the 10-round main event at Cowboy Dance Hall in San Antonio, Texas.

Castaneda vs. Bernardo, co-promoted by Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions and Leija Battah Promotions, will headline a card to be streamed live on UFC FIGHT PASS, starting at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT. The show is the fourth under a new agreement between Castaneda’s promoter, RJJ Boxing, and FIGHT PASS, to live stream up to 72 professional boxing events over the next three years.

The 25-year-old Castaneda (15-0, 7 KOs) is coming off his most impressive performance this past December in San Antonio, in which he won a lop-sided 10-round unanimous decision (100-90, 99-91, 98-92) over previously undefeated Gilbert Venegas, Jr. (10-0) to capture the vacant North American Boxing Association (NABA) super lightweight title. Castaneda is ranked No. 14 in the world by the World Boxing Association (WBA).

A former Dominican Republic lightweights champion, Bernardo (24-3, 18 KOs) is a dangerous puncher, evident by his 18 knockouts in 24 victories during his 9 ½-year professional career.

The co-featured event is another special RJJ Boxing on UFC Fight Pass match-up between unbeaten Baltimore lightweight Xavier Wilson (9-0-1, 1 KO) and once-defeated, hard-hitting John Arellano (9-1, 9 KOs), fighting out of Conroe, Texas, in an eight-rounder.

Opening the FIGHT PASS segment of the card is a welterweight class featuring Houston’s undefeated prospect Jerrico “Hands of Stone” Walton (11-0, 7 KOs) versus upset-minded Oregonian, Sean “Beast of War” Gee (4-9).

Also fighting on the undercard in a pair six-round, intra-state rivalry bouts between unbeaten San Antonio lightweight Joseph “Mongoose” Rodriguez (14-0-1, 2 KOs) and Darryl Hayes (6-12, 1 KO), of Houston, along with Austin, TX knockout artist Alexis Camacho (21-6, 19 KOs) versus Houston junior middleweight Rich “The Ruler” Graham(6-21-4).

All fights and fighters are subject to change.

San Antonio welterweight Daniel Baiz (13-1, 5 KOs) vs. fellow Texan Joe Sambrano (4-12-1, 2 KOs) in a six-round fight, plus two four-rounders as San Antonio super middleweight Steve Ramos (4-1, 2 KOs) faces (Bryan, TX) Adam “AD” Ealoms.(3-16-3, 1 KO), and San Antonio junior featherweight Henry “World Star” Arredondo (2-0) vs. TBA.

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