Emperors Palace near Kempton Park, South Africa – IBO cruiserweight champion Keven Lerena (26-1, 13 KOs) broke down and stopped Patrick Ferguson (17-3-1, 13 KOs) in five rounds.
Lerena was in full control of the fight by outboxing Ferguson in the first round rounds.
During the fifth, he clipped Ferguson with a hard combination that buzzed him. He pinned Ferguson against the ropes and unloaded with several unanswered shots that forced referee Tony Nyangiwe to wave off the fight.
Lerena defended his IBO strap for the seventh time. He is also rated #2 by the WBA, #3 by the IBF, as well as #3 by the WBC in their new bridgerweight division. The 28-year-old Lerena is coming off of a sixth-round stoppage of former world champion Firat Arslan on February 8, 2020.
Ferguson, from Spokane, WA, was riding a three-fight winning streak, following two close decision losses in 2019. He previously held the WBC USNBC title and was a US National champion as an amateur.
Coming from a family heavily involved with horse racing, Lerena initially wanted to become a jockey. However, when a growth spurt ended that dream, he set his sights on becoming a professional boxer and, on November 30, 2011, he turned pro at the age of 19, with no amateur experience.
Since then, he has captured the WBF African, WBC Youth Silver, WBA Pan African, and South African cruiserweight titles. He avenged his only loss to Johnny Muller by knocking him out in the 10th round of their rematch in 2016. When he’s not fighting, Lerena has been a paramedic for the last four years, working shifts as an ambulance emergency assistant.