Kevin Lerena stops Sefer Seferi in three rounds in South Africa
Cruiserweight contender Kevin Lerena stopped Sefer Seferi in round three Saturday night at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park, South Africa.
With the win, Lerena improves to 24-1 (11 knockouts).
Lerena, who resides in nearby Johannesburg and is ranked no. 6 by The Ring, finally let his hands go in round two after a feeling-out opening round. The southpaw’s thudding punches forced Seferi to fight defensively and clinch anytime he felt in danger.
Seferi’s punch output dropped during the third round. Sensing Seferi was weakening, Lerena closed the distance, forcing Seferi to fight with his back against the ropes. During an exchange, Lerena landed a left to the body, followed by another left to the head, dropping Seferi to the canvas. Seferi remained on the canvas as referee Jean Robert Laine stopped the bout at 2:29.
Seferi, who is of Albanian descent and resides in Burgford, Switzerland, drops to 23-3-1, 21 KOs. His other losses have come at the hands of Tyson Fury and Manuel Charr.
The 27-year-old Lerena has now won his last 14 bouts since suffering his only defeat as a pro to Johnny Muller in November of 2014. He would avenge that loss by defeating Muller by decision almost 18 months later.
Promoter Rodney Berman has stated to The Ring he hopes to land a world title fight for Lerena next year. Lerena is also ranked no. 5 by the WBC and no. 6 by the WBA.
In a 12-round clash between unbeaten junior welterweights, Jabulani Makhense defeated Marios Matamba (11-1, 9 KOs) of the Congo by unanimous decision. Makhense, who resides in Cape Town, improves to 9-0 (4 KOs).
Cruiserweight Lebogang Mashitoa improved to 7-1 (2 KOs) by defeating Keaton Gomes (6-1, 4 KOs) by unanimous decision over 10 rounds.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring 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, Boxingscene.com, and FightNights.com. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing