Saturday, April 01, 2023  |



Kerman Lejarraga determined to ‘even the score’ against David Avanesyan

Kerman Lejarraga
Fighters Network

Big-punching Kerman Lejarraga will look to regain his European welterweight title when he faces David Avanesyan in a rematch at the Bilbao Arena in Bilbao, Spain on Saturday.

In March, Lejarraga was ahead on all three scorecards when he was surprisingly stopped by the Russian contender in nine rounds.

The 27-year-old got back to winning ways in June with a routine fourth-round knockout win over Luis Solis and the immediate priority from there was an Avanesyan sequel.

Lejarraga (28-1, 23 knockouts) knows a second loss to this opponent would be hugely damaging to his career.

“I think it is a necessary rematch for me and my team,” Lejarraga told The Ring through Inigo Herbosa of MGZ Promotions. “Avanesyan is a great boxer, and I have no excuses. He clearly won six months ago.

“(Avanesyan is) fast, smart and strong, a former world champion. In the ring, it is very difficult to see him make a mistake. But both my team and I learned from the mistakes I made that night and how a fight should be planned against a boxer of his characteristics.

“I want to even the score and recover my European title and I will have that opportunity. I know that by doing things well, I can defeat him.”

The marauding Spanish fighter recognizes his opponent’s greater experience helped him weather the storm early and fire back to score the improbable victory.

“Everything went wrong,” Lejarraga said. “I rushed when he was hurt, and he knew how to make me pay [for] that mistake.

“I want to make him fight, he is not comfortable with my strength, and I will prevail.”

To shake things up Lejarraga decamped to Los Angeles, California.

“I had the chance to get out of my environment and focus only on boxing,” he explained. “My intention is to demonstrate in this rematch that I can arrive better prepared and with the necessary experience. At this level there is a high toll (to pay) for mistakes.”

Jesus Del Valle, who manages and co-promotes Lejarraga with DiBella Entertainment, knows that victory is imperative.

“I think it’s the most important fight in Kerman’s career,” Del Valle said, pulling no punches. “David Avanesyan is a great champion, but both Kerman and I think that by doing things right we can recover the title.”

The popular Spanish fighter could have gone a different route but is determined to avenge his only career loss.

“Avanesyan was better than me,” Lejarraga acknowledged. “Some people think that I should avoid him, look for other goals. I am not that way. He won and proved to be the best European welterweight. Since I got out of the ring (that night), my goal was to improve.

“It will be a difficult fight, but I will be giving everything in the ring to defeat him.”

Avanesyan (24-3-1, 12 KOs) turned professional in 2009. A breakthrough victory over an aging Sugar Shane Mosley in May 2016 was followed by a decision loss to Lamont Peterson the following year.

Since then, Avanesyan has had various spells of inactivity, fighting just three times in three-and-a-half years. He looked past his prime when he was stopped by Egidijus Kavaliauskus in six rounds in February 2018, but the Lejarraga win resurrected his career.

Editor’s Note: Avanesyan briefly held the WBA “regular” welterweight title, which is unrecognized by the Ring.


Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter @AnsonWainwright