#1 Ranked Contender YOURI “El Toro” KALENGA heads to Big Bear Lake, California this week to open training camp for his World Boxing Association (‘WBA’) Cruiserweight World Title fight against Champion DENIS LEBEDEV slated for March 21 at a location to be announced.
Kalenga will train at The Summit High Altitude Training Center with the renowned ABEL SANCHEZ for the first time in his five-year career.
“This is an outstanding opportunity for Youri and as we do with all our fighters — ensure them the best preparation to succeed,” said MICHAEL KING of KING SPORTS.
“Abel is one of the premier trainers in the sport and we’re very confident Youri can beat Lebedev with him in his corner.”
A native of Congo, now residing in France, the 26-year-old Kalenga, 21-1-0 (14KO’s), has traveled the globe throughout his five-year career with wins in Germany, Canada, Monaco, Ireland and Spain in addition to his home country.
On June 21, 2014, Kalenga headed to Monte Carlo and won a 12-round decision over top rated contender Mateusz Masternak, earning the WBA “Interim” Cruiserweight World Title.
Most recently Kalenga traveled to Ontario, Canada on November 14, stopping undefeated local contender Denton Daley in the twelfth round in defense of the title.
Continued King, “We put Kalenga in a tough fight for his first defense because we had analyzed Daley’s strengths and weaknesses and believe he would come out victorious.
Many boxing people said we were being reckless as there was nothing to gain fighting Daley and everything to lose as we would have lost the interim title and our mandatory fight with Lebedev for the world title.”
“But we strongly believe in our 21st Century training program and believed Kalenga would win. Additionally, our philosophy at KING SPORTS is to continue challenging our fighters along with preparing them for a specific boxer.”
“So this wasn’t just a tune-up. Daley was ranked #2 by the WBA and we fought him on his home turf in Canada. While it may not have appeared we had anything to again, we did as we believed if Kalenga couldn’t beat Daley with our 21st Century training program then he couldn’t beat Lebedev and we aren’t going to baby our fighters.”
“If we are going to succeed we have to fight the best – just like Sugar Ray Leonard and Muhammad Ali. Kalenga’s first defense showed everyone he’s the real deal, and can become a great champion that can unify all the titles.”