Heavyweight fight set to be added to Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou Saudi show
Headlined by Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou, the star-studded card in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on March 8 will now feature Justis Huni vs Kevin Lerena, BoxingScene reports.
Heavyweight prospect Ngannou – aggrieved after not getting the rub of the green against Tyson Fury – looks to deliver another electric moment against Joshua.
The former UFC champion remains without a professional win in boxing, but his knockdown against Fury back in October 2023 has given him ample confidence.
But Huni (8-0, 4 KOs) hopes to steal the show in a crossroads matchup against WBC Bridgerweight interim champion Lerena (30-2, 14 KOs).
The Brisbane bomber comes off a 10-round unanimous decision victory over former cruiserweight world title challenger Andrew Tabiti, which took place in Mexico on October 28 last year.
The 24-year-old’s Matchroom and DAZN debut was also his first contest outside of Australia, with Eddie Hearn keen to promote his charge on an even bigger stage.
While it is still early days in his professional career, Huni impressed as an amateur in a host of international tournaments, only to fall short against Tokyo 2020 gold medallist Bakhodir Jalolov in the qualifiers.
His opponent comes off a 12-round unanimous decision win over Senad Gashi, who British fans may know from his uninspiring performance against Dereck Chisora in 2019.
Lerena has flirted with cruiserweight, where he once held an IBO belt, bridgerweight – perhaps a more comfortable division for the South African – and now, heavyweight, despite being on the receiving end of a 3rd round stoppage defeat against Daniel Dubois in 2022.
However, with neither fighter having the stature nor frame of a typical modern heavyweight, Huni vs Lerena is an intriguing bout and, more so, a strong addition to an already stacked card.