The cruiserweight division in boxing at the moment is on fire and we had a chance to catch up with one of its big punchers’ managers to discuss.
Irishman Gary Hyde manages Youri Kalenga (23-3-16KO) who just came up short in his world title attempt against Russian Denis Lebedev back in 2015 on points in Moscow.
He’s since bounced back however and now faces Kevin Lerena on September 9th in South Africa for the vacant IBO cruiserweight title.
Speaking to Gary I first asked How is Youri Kalenga looking at the moment ahead of his Sept 9th to which he replied:
“Youri was already training on standby for the World Boxing Super Series but was unfortunate not to be picked so he is great shape and extremely hungry for success against Lerena.”
Cruiserweight is a hot division again now. What do you make of the lineup at the weight in the new World Boxing Super Series tournament and the new event for boxing overall? Will Youri be targeting fighters in this tournament as they get knocked out of it, and ultimately the winner of it?
“The World Boxing Super Series looks like it’s going to be a fantastic tournament between most of the top cruiserweights in the world. I believe Youri had a much better resume then some of the fighters in the tournament. It will be interesting to see who comes out on top and Youri will be waiting to pounce on the winner of the tournament.”
One fighter who is not in it is the UK’s Tony Bellew. If he returns to cruiserweight over the next year could this be a fight on Youri’s radar?
“I really admire Tony Bellew and a fight between Youri and Bellew would be great or maybe another fight against Lebedev. Winning this fight on September 9th is vital as it will put Youri right where he belongs amongst the best in the division.”
Youri Kalenga vs Kevin Lerena takes place on September 9th at the Emperors Palace in Kempton Park, South Africa.
(Images source and credit: Youri Kalenga Facebook)