Sunday, March 26, 2023  |



Kerman Lejarraga could be US bound if he beats David Avanesyan

Kerman Lejarraga

Unbeaten welterweight contender Kerman Lejarraga could make his U.S. debut sooner than later. Before that becomes a reality, Lejarraga must take care of business Saturday night.

Lejarraga will face former world title challenger David Avanesyan at the Bilbao Arena in his hometown of Bilbao, Spain.

The hard-hitting Lejarraga has been impressive is stopping solid opposition over his several fights. In his last bout, Lejarraga knocked out former contender Frankie Gavin in round 4 with a devastating punch to the body.

Lejarraga (27-0, 22 knockouts) has stopped 12 of his last 13 opponents.

Lou DiBella, who co-promotes Lejarraga with Spain’s Mgz Promotions, believes Lejarraga could have a breakthrough year in the U.S.

“I believe his next fight or two will be in the United States,” DiBella told The Ring. “He’s sold out arenas throughout Spain, attracting crowds of over 10,000. He may not have a scientific style, but it is crowd-pleasing. He has Spanish TV behind him. He hits like a mule. His style reminds me of an Arturo Gatti.”

Lejarraga has fought once before in the U.S., stopping Jose Antonio Abreu in June of 2017 in Verona, New York.

The 27-year-old Lejarraga is currently ranked No. 5 by WBA, IBF, and WBO. The WBC ranks Lejarraga at No. 2.

DiBella believes Lejarraga could face a B-level fighter next in the U.S., if the opportunity arises, before he faces the elite in the division.

“There’s no rush, but I believe he can fight someone the likes a Shawn Porter or a Keith Thurman. I think Porter could be a compelling fight based on their aggressive styles. I don’t think he’s ready yet for a (Terence) Crawford or (Errol) Spence. He’s peaking and I believe Kerman could stand out later this year or in early 2020.”

Lejarraga is managed by Jesus Del Valle.

Avanesyan (23-3-1, 11 KOs) is originally from Russia and now resides in Newark, England. He has not fought since Feb. 16 of last year, when he was stopped in round 6 by welterweight contender Egidijus Kavaliauskas.

The 30-year-old Avanesyan has lost two of his last three fights.

In a clash of unbeaten middleweights from Spain, Cesar Nunez (16-0, 8 KOs) will square off against Guillermo Rivero (8-0, 1 KO) in an eight-round bout.

Junior lightweight Moussa Ghulam (11-0, 5 KOs) will face Brandon Oertel (7-1, 3 KOs) in an eight-round bout.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper,, and He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing