Former IBO cruiserweight champion Kevin Lerena is not intimidated by the record of his upcoming opponent, Senad Gashi, who has 26 knockouts in his 27 wins.
The two will clash for the WBC interim-bridgerweight title at Emperors Palace on November 25.
Back in May, Lerena secured a twelve round unanimous decision over Ryad Merhy – which allowed the South African star to bounce back from last December’s stoppage loss at the hands of Daniel Dubois.
After suffering that loss to Dubois, Lerena dropped down in weight to compete in the briderweight division – a weight class situated between heavyweight and cruiserweight – and the division is only recognized by the World Boxing Council.
Gashi has gone 10-0-1 in his last eleven appearances in the ring. His three defeats all came at the heavyweight limit, against the likes of dangerous contenders Carlos Takam and Derek Chisora.
“Respect is the key word but when the bell goes, it’s business and respect is thrown out of the window,” said Lerena to Sowetan Live.
The winner will get a crack at the current full champion, Lukasz Rozanski from Poland. Rozanski is reportedly going to defend against former three division champion Badou Jack.
“It’s going be a tough fight [with Senad] but I believe I have a better pedigree; I’ve prepared better and I’ve got the world to win,” said Lerena.
“I need to win the interim belt in order to get a shot at Badou Jack or Rozanski. In the event they don’t fight, I will be elevated to world super champion [depending on the outcome of November 25 fight]. Honestly, I think I’m in the best shape; best that I have sparred and you will see an explosive Kevin, fast Kevin, a mover, the guy I was a couple of fights ago. I am not as big as I was maybe two fights ago, but I’m definitely planning to be explosive and elusive.”