In a blink of an eye, Kevin Lerena went from toppling Daniel Dubois in one of the biggest upsets of the year, to ultimately losing the fight in extremely bizarre circumstances.
The phrase ‘home cooking’ is often used in this sport. And on Saturday night, the sad reality of boxing officiating, once again, reared its ugly head. While Lerena entered the contest, having held the IBO cruiserweight title, few gave him much chance of upsetting the apple cart. However, he utilised his supreme boxing skills to give Dubois all he could handle.
In the very first round, the crafty southpaw landed an excellent shot on the dome, which sent the Brit tumbling towards the canvas, injuring his leg on the way down. The titleholder got back to his feet, but found himself on the floor twice more.
It was then that controversy struck. The timekeeper ended the first segment with 11 seconds still to go, giving Dubois extra recovery time.
In a testament to the 24-year-old’s powers of self-belief, he bounced back, putting Lerena down in the third on two occasions, the second coming at the end of the third round. But in another dubious move, referee, Howard Foster, stopped the contest, rather than giving the South African any time to recover. And with a minute on the table, who knows if he could have bounced back?
The saddening nature of proceedings has left the challenger’s team up in arms. And the underdog’s promoter is willing to do whatever it takes to get justice for his fighter.
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Kevin Lerena seeking legal action for Daniel Dubois controversy
In the aftermath of the bout, Rodney Berman, took to social media to announce legal action.
He tweeted: “An objection will be lodged with the WBA and the British Boxing Board of Control – Lerena was very hard done by, by a biased “loyal referee.“ Fighters cannot be allowed to be treated so unfairly.”
In an ideal world, Lerena would receive another shot at Dubois. But in a sport that produces disgusting scorecards, horrendous refereeing performances and regular deception from the promoters, it’s unlikely the issue will receive just rectification. However, there’s no harm in hope.
Featured Image Credit: Kevin Lerena