Huni vs Lerena Predictions: Truth, Justis and the Australian way

 | March 07 | 

3 mins read

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Fans in Saudi Arabia will get a good look at the current heavyweight scene on Friday March 8, when Anthony Joshua takes on Francis Ngannou in a fight backed by Zhilei Zhang’s WBO interim title clash with Joseph Parker. But in Justis Huni vs Kevin Lerena, fans in the arena and watching on DAZN will also get a sneak peek at its future

Huni vs Lerena Tips

  • Huni on points @ 4/6
  • Fight to go the distance - Yes @ 4/11

The heavyweight 10-rounder pits Australia’s 8-0 Huni against former WBA ‘regular’ title challenger Lerena in a clash of youth vs experience. While Lerena is no stranger to the big occasion, Huni is unaccustomed to the international spotlight. But an impressive showing on this stage will propel him into further big fights.

Huni’s brief career has moved at an incredible clip. As an amateur he was a World Championships bronze medalist and was all set to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games before injury derailed his plans. Rather than plug away and amass a padded record against journeymen, Huni entered the pros at the deep end. In his debut fight, ‘JPH’ stopped Faiga Opelu in seven rounds to win the Australian heavyweight championship.

Unlike most gifted amateurs who cross over to the pros, Huni has never fought an opponent with a losing record. His rise has been fast and has already included significant victories. His breakthrough moment came when he defended his Australian title against rugby league star-turned-boxer Paul Gallen. A 10th-round TKO victory for Huni gave Gallen the first loss of his ring career. 

Huni’s best win came last time out, when he outpointed former IBF cruiserweight title challenger Andrew Tabiti. Now he sharpens his skills against another decorated former cruiserweight in ex-IBO champion Kevin Lerena. A win here will likely see Huni move up in class again, with a deep well of world class talent waiting in the wings.

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Lerena is best known to British audiences for his performance in a frenzied fight with then-WBA ‘regular’ champion Daniel Dubois in December 2022. Tottenham Hotspur Stadium played host to the bout on the undercard of Tyson Fury’s WBC title defence against Derek Chisora. A chaotic affair saw Lerena knock Dubois down three times in the opening round. ‘Dynamite’ was given every chance to recover and rallied to score a third-round stoppage that many officials wouldn’t have allowed him to reach. Lerena came away feeling hard done by that the WBA’s secondary crown wasn’t his.

Lerena has channelled his discontent effectively since. Wins over decent fringe heavyweights Ryad Merhy and Senad Gashi have kept him in the mix and now he gets a big night under the lights on pay-per-view. Dubois aside, Lerena has largely fed on veteran names like Mariusz Wach and Sefer Seferi. Now he must contend with a star on the rise rather than one on the descent.

I feel like Huni will have too much for him in Riyadh. As he moved up in class, the Australian has found knockouts harder to come by. Huni has gone the distance in each of his last three fights and I feel like Lerena has enough wherewithal to take him there again. But I think Huni’s superior skills will take him home with a rather wide unanimous decision victory. ‘JPH’ is 4/6 to win on points, a fair shout in his biggest fight yet.

You can find all our latest boxing tips and analysis at our Betfred Insights Boxing page

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