South African Heavyweight Kevin Lerena Wins Vacant World Boxing Association Intercontinental Title

South African Heavyweight Kevin Lerena Wins Vacant World Boxing Association Intercontinental Title

Keba Mothoagae
  • South African boxer Kevin Lerena put Mzansi heavyweight boxing back on the map with a fourth-round stoppage of Romanian Bogdan Dinu
  • The win saw Lerena winning the vacant World Boxing Association Intercontinental heavyweight title at Emperor's Palace last night
  • This was not the only title on the line in a significant evening for the health of South African boxing

Kevin Lerena gave South African boxing the boost it desperately needed with a fourth-round stoppage of Romanian Bogdan Dinu at Emperor's Palace last night.

This saw Lerena clinch the vacant WBA Intercontinental heavyweight championship, becoming the first South African heavyweight title winner since the late Corrie Sanders defeated Wladimir Klitschko for the WBO heavyweight belt in 2003.

kevin lerena, south africa, bogdan dinu, romania, emperor's palace, kempton park, wba intercontinental heavyweight championship, corrie sanders, wladimir klitschko, cassper nyovest, don billiato, slik talk
Kevin Lerena and Bogdan Dinu duke it out for the WBA Intercontinental heavyweight championship last night. Image source: @WBABoxing
Source: Twitter

In the first two rounds there was very little in it as both fighters moved around sparring for openings.

As reported by SuperSport, in the third round Dinu (114kg) went down against the ropes claiming a low blow and, after writhing around holding his cup, he eventually got up to finish the round.

In round four the superbly conditioned southpaw Lerena (104.80kg) continued to press the action and scored a knockdown with a right to the head.

Dinu managed to beat the count but soon afterwards was sent down for the full count with a right left combination.

This was a fine performance by Lerena, 30, who improved his record to 27-1; 13 and the rather disappointing 35-year-old Dinu saw his record drop to 20-4; 16 as he appeared to be looking for an easy way out and was lucky not to have his purse withdrawn.

Joshua Pretorius wins two titles

A well-conditioned Joshua Pretorius (104.30kg) won the South African heavyweight title and the vacant African Boxing Union heavyweight titles on a 12-round unanimous points decision over defending South African heavyweight champion Juan Roux (130.70kg).

The scores were 118-100, 118-112 and 116-112.

Roux, who was making the first defence of the South African title, appeared slow and sluggish and never got into the fights as Pretorius sent his head back time and again with the left jab and boxed his way to a deserved decision.

Shervanta Koopman retains IBF Africa title

South African and IBF Africa junior middleweight champion Shervantaigh Koopman was most impressive in scoring a fifth-round technical knockout win over Jamie Webb to retain the IBF title. The South African title was not on the line.

Time was 1 minute 42 seconds.

In two other bouts, heavyweight Keaton Gomes won on a first-round stoppage over Shaun Potgieter (Time 1:20) and, in a middleweight encounter, Mbiya Kanku (DRC) won on a second technical knockout against Phikelani Khumalo (Time 1:33)