Would you look for trouble with this guy? Decidedly not, because you’re likely to land flat on your back with a quivering bottom lip like 11 of Kevin Lerena’s 16 opponents have done so far!
In reality, the 23-year-old South African Cruiserweight Boxing Champion is a jovial guy with a good sense of humour and he loves horseracing as much as boxing.
Kevin has just bought a share in Green Street Bloodstock’s recent yearling acquisition, Royal Silvano, a smart looker by promising stallion Bold Silvano, who was this week duly renamed, “The KO Kid”.
Kevin himself received the affectionate nickname “The KO Kid” from his many supporters. Besides the South African Title, he also holds the WBA Africa Champion Title and he is the WBC Youth Champion, ranked at Number 17 in the world.
He has his sights firmly set on reaching the very top of a profession he chose above becoming a jockey at age 15 and says: “In another two or three fights I could to be in contention to fight for top ranking, the WBA and WBC world titles.”
Kevin grew up in a racing family and hence his decision to become involved in ownership. His father, Anton, trained for a while in the 1980a and his uncle, Spike, has long been a stalwart trainer in the SA industry. His cousin Gavin is the current SA Champion Jockey and another cousin Brandon Lerena is an equally talented rider competing at top level.
“Racing needs young owners to grow, it is the lifeblood of the sport and I am testing the water with this purchase. The KO Kid is a beautifully bred horse, he has the looks and I’m hoping he will give us the enjoyment that goes with his pedigree and conformation.
“It’s an exciting venture and in time I would like to get other high-profile sporting personalities involved in ownership. Racing gives me a thrill, I have always been involved with horses, I know the game and I know the thoroughbred.”
Kevin fights for his mentor, coach Peter Smith, trains near Linden in Johannesburg and he tells: “I wanted to be a jockey like Gavin and Brandon but in training for boxing I became too big and heavy. Cruiserweight is the 90kg division, it falls between light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions and I’d be the heaviest jock around!”
Besides his income from boxing matches, Kevin receives endorsements and sponsorships in the competitive professional sporting arena and he says: “This is a life that calls for full dedication and being involved in a racehorse gives me an opportunity to unwind when I can.”
There are a few shares still available in the KO Kid, so if you’d like to race a potential champion with a champion partner, here is your chance!
Go to Green Street Bloodstock’s Horses For Sale page for details.