Kevin Lerena knocked out Artur Mann in the fourth round of his IBO cruiserweight title defence. Photo: Nick Lourens/African News Agency/ANA

JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s Kevin Lerena will make the next defence of his IBO junior-heavyweight belt against Sefer Seferi of Macedonia on Saturday September 21 at the Emperors Palace Casino near Kempton Park.

The southpaw Lerena (23-1; 0), who has been fighting as a pro since November 2011, has won the WBF Africa junior-heavyweight, WBC Youth junior-heavyweight, South African junior-heavyweight, WBA Pan African cruiserweight and IBO junior-heavyweight titles.

He captured the vacant IBO belt with a split decision win over Youri Kayembre Kalenga in September 2017, and has made successful defences of the belt against Dmytro Kucher (points), Roman Golovashchenko (points), Artur Mann (TKO fourth round) and Vasil Ducar (points).

The 40-year-old Seferi (23-2-1; 10) was born in Gostivar, SFR Yugoslavia (now Macedonia), but fights out of Burgdorf, Switzerland. He made his pro debut on May 26, 2007.

He won 19 of his first 21 fights inside the distance, mainly against poor opponents, a number of them with negative records.

On September 17, 2016, he moved up to the heavyweight division to face Manuel Charr (29-4) in a bout for the vacant WBA International heavyweight title and lost on points over 10 rounds, with scores of 98-91, 97-92 and 96-93.

He then won his next two fights against Marcelo Ferreira do Santos (KO fifth roun) and Lazlo Hubert (KO second round) before meeting former WBA/IBF/WBO and IBO heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, who was returning to the ring after being out for 31 months.

In a complete mismatch, Seferi, who was 30kg lighter than Fury, was stopped in the fourth round.

On November 2017 last year, he dropped down to cruiserweight again and fought to a 12-round majority draw against the experienced Firat Arslan (44-8-2) in a clash for the WBO Intercontinental and Global Union world titles.

Even though Seferi is 40 years old, he is superbly conditioned and, with a knockout ratio of 81%, he could extend the champion Lerena over 12 close rounds.

African News Agency (ANA)