Lukasz Rozanski will have to cut short his victory lap following an explosive win to secure the WBC bridgerweight title.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that the WBC has instructed Rozanski to enter talks with South Africa’s Kevin Lerena for an ordered mandatory title defense. The two sides were granted a free negotiations period to reach terms before a purse bid will be ordered by the sanctioning body.
“Serve this letter as the beginning of the free negotiations period for the fight between WBC Bridgerweight Champion Lukasz Rozanski and WBC Bridgerweight Silver Champion Kevin Lerena,” WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman informed the promoters for both boxers in an official letter obtained by Boxing Scene. “If no agreement is reached between parties, the WBC will conduct a purse offer pursuant to the WBC Rules and Regulations on Thursday, June 22, 2023 at the WBC Headquarters office in Mexico City.”
Rozanki is represented in talks by Andrew Wasilewski’s KnockOut (KO) Promotions. Lerena fights under Rodney Berman’s Golden Gloves Promotions.
Should the bout head to a purse bid hearing, Rozanski will earn the favorable end of a 60-40 split.
Poland’s Rozanski (15-0, 14KOs) became the second claimant to the infantile WBC bridgerweight crown following a stunning first-round stoppage of unbeaten Alen Babic. Their April 22 title fight took place in Rozanski’s Rzeszow hometown, thanks to KO Promotions outbidding Matchroom Boxing to secure promotional rights to the bout.
The 130-second blitzing of Babic saw Rozanski earn the title left behind by Oscar Rivas, a 2008 Olympian for Colombia who lives out of Montreal who relinquished due to a detached retina. The injury forced Rivas (28-1, 19KOs) out of a planned January 14 heavyweight clash versus Efe Ajagba, ahead of a previously scheduled title defense versus Rozanski, which was already postponed once before.
Lerena (29-2, 14KOs) will enter his first career major title fight, for those who value the WBC bridgerweight title. The 31-year-old southpaw from Johannesburg became the mandatory challenger after a twelve-round, unanimous decision win over former WBA ‘Regular’ cruiserweight titlist Ryad Merhy (31-2, 26KOs) on May 13 in Kempton Park, South Africa.
The win saw Lerena rebound from a controversial third-round stoppage to WBA ‘Regular’ heavyweight titlist Daniel Dubois last December 3 in North London. The setback snapped an eighteen-fight win streak dating back to 2015.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox