South Africa’s Kevin Lerena claimed the vacant IBO cruiserweight title with a split decision victory over Youri Kalenga at Emperor’s Palace.
The 25 year-old failed to live up to his ‘KO Kid’ nickname on the night, and after twelve hard-fought rounds the fight could have gone either way.
WBN had edged slightly in favor of Kalenga at the final bell, although it was Lerena who celebrated the greatest win of his career and an eighth in a row.
Elsewhere in Kazakhstan, Kanat Islam dropped Brandon Cook three times on his way to a ninth round stoppage as part of the International EXPO being held in his home country.
Islam, highly ranked and close to a world super-welterweight title shot, made no mistakes and was dominant in his methods to the delight of the Astana crowd.
— Leon Mckenzie (@LeonMckenzie1) September 9, 2017
In the UK, Leon McKenzie fought a barnstorming battle with Cello Renda, after which the former professional footballer required hospital treatment.
The eye-catching bout went back and forth round after round until Renda eventually landed the telling blow to end the fight in the ninth.
McKenzie was treated in the ring before being looked after by doctors at a nearby medical facility but reassured his fans a short time later he would be fine.
Renda improved to 29-12-2, whilst McKenzie dropped a second loss from eleven contests.
Also on the bill, Liam Conroy blasted out pre-fight favourite Joel McIntyre to pick up the English light-heavyweight title for the first time.