By Ron Jackson
In possibly one of his best performances as a champion, South Africa’s Kevin Lerena beat Artur Mann from Germany on a fourth round technical knockout to retain his IBO cruiserweight belt for the fourth time in front of a capacity crowd at Emperors Palace near Kempton Park on Saturday night.
Both fighters came out sparring for openings in the first round with most of the punches blocked on the arms and gloves. Fighting in slow motion it was the same pattern in the second and third round, but Lerena (90.45Kg) finished strongly just before the bell to shade the round.
It was a confident Lerena who came out for round four and began to backup Mann (90.55kg) scoring with rights and lefts from his southpaw stance.
The champion continued to dominate and dropped the challenger against the ropes with an uppercut followed up with rights and lefts to the head.
It appeared as if Mann wanted to quit but beat the count and the confident Lerena never left him off the hook as he sent him down again with a left to the side of the head.
Mann managed to beat the count but staggered against the ropes and was in no condition to continue as referee Jean Robert Laine stepped in to wave the fight off at 2 minutes 37 seconds into the round.
Lerena improved his record to 22-1; 10 and the disappointing Mann saw his record drop to 15-1; 8.
ALLEN WINS WBA PAN AFRICAN JUNIOR-MIDDLEWEIGHT TITLE
In a poor fight Boyd Allen (69.50kg) won the vacant WBA Pan African junior-middleweight title when he stopped John Bopape (69.0kg) at 54 seconds into the eleventh round.
FRANK RODRIGUES CLAIMS GAUTENG TITLE
In a gruelling toe-to-toe encounter and possibly the best fight of the night, the southpaw Frank Rodrigues (78.75kg) won the vacant Gauteng light-heavyweight title on a unanimous ten round point’s decision over Michael Markram (78.55kg).
The scores were 96-94, 98-92 and a way out 100-90.
Light-heavyweight: Xhek Paskali, draw 6, Alex Kabangu; Middleweight: Roarke Knapp beat Thembani Mhlanga, tko 2; Cruiserweight: Keaton Gomes, beat Faradji Said, pts 8; Welterweight: Gift Bolo, beat Timo Schwerzkopf, pts 6.