Lerena, who is ranked number-5 by the WBO,number-11 by the WBC, and number-13 by the WBA dropped Meroro in the 1st round and won each round until Meroro surprisingly quit in round five.
The win was Lerena’s 6th consecutive victory. The stoppage came as a shock, which led promoter Rodney Berman to withhold Meroro’s purse.
“He quit, plain and simple,” raged Berman, who insisted Meroro was in no imminent danger.
“We have an obligation to the public to produce good fights. The public pay good money, Emperors Palace pays good money and SuperSport pays good money. I can’t overlook that,” said Berman.
“As I didn’t really get going, I’d give myself six out of 10. The minute I dropped him in the first round, he went into defensive mode,” said Lerena. “When a guy comes to fight, I show my true ability. It frustrates me when they don’t . . . I like fighting. We did expect more, but what can you do?”
“I was disappointed. No, I was angry. I wanted to beat him up. I started going to the body from round four. I was planning and building towards a conclusive finish. I’d rather get knocked out than quit, like Meroro did.”
“I’m lucky, I have a big following. The fans paid a lot of money to watch me and many tuned in to television, but they never got a full show because Meroro quit. People understand, I’m coming to wreck my opponents. I’m not there for the pay day. I come to win.”
“I trained hard. Now I’m just focused on what’s next. I’m hoping for a fight date in America, the sooner the better. I want a good fight and a good opponent. I love hard fights; I never want to have easy fights. I just want to win and look good doing so.”
“Kevin got the win, and he dominated the fight,” said Matt Rowland, Vice President of Banner Promotions.
“He continues to win and move up the rankings, and our partner Rodney Berman and us will discuss the next move for Kevin. We can see him fighting for a world title in the not too distant future.”