Kevin Lerena, who faces Daniel Dubois this weekend for the WBA Regular Heavyweight title, was once shot by former sprinter and convicted murderer, Oscar Pistorius.
In a Johannesburg restaurant around 2013, double-amputee athlete Pistorius misfired a friend’s pistol and shot the fighter. The bullet that fired underneath the table thankfully only hit Lerena’s toe, and he escaped with just a cut.
Weeks later, Pistorius shot his wife four times, claiming that he believed her to be an intruder. Reeva Steenkamp tragically died, and Lerena would testify in the trial which led to Pistorius eventually being convicted of murder.
Lerena, former IBO World Cruiserweight champion, understandably wants to focus on the fight with Dubois. He told The Mirror that the incident with the Paralympian – whom he has since cut ties with – was in the past.
“Yeah, that was a crazy story, but it’s in the past. Being in court and all that, it’s very hard for me to talk on those matters, but, yeah, there was a situation, there was an incident, but those are things of the past now.”
“Long ago, we were acquaintances in the same circle. We just had friends in common. We don’t talk about that, we’re here for boxing, that’s the most important thing.”
As for his fight this weekend, the South African slugger is under no illusions that he’s in for a hard night, but he remains confident that he can upset the odds.
He has three wins at heavyweight following a successful cruiserweight campaign which saw him avenge the only loss on his record.
“The job ahead of me is a big one and I don’t underestimate Daniel Dubois for one minute. But I’ve come here with a gameplan, I’m not here to roll over, I’m no stepping stone. I’ve beaten bigger men before and I’ve come here to be the WBA world champion.”
Dubois puts his belt on the line against Lerena as the chief support on the Tyson Fury – Derek Chisora card, taking place Saturday December 3 at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and broadcast live on BT Sport Box Office.