With each warrior being dropped once during the 12-round battle, judges’ scores were 115-112 twice and 116-111 for Lebedev.
“I tip my hat to Lebedev, he’s a great fighter and perhaps I’ll get another chance to face him. He’s without question the toughest fighter I’ve faced but I thought I clearly won the fight,” said the disappointed Kalenga.
Seizing control of the action from the opening bell and dropping the champion in the fourth round, Kalenga fought well in the first half of the fight. In the seventh stanza Lebedev repaid the favor with both combatants fighting evenly to the bitter end.
“I can’t say enough about Youri’s performance, he hung in the there and came very close to defeating one of the elite cruiserweights in the world in his own backyard”, said MICHAEL KING of KING SPORTS. “He’s going to take some time off after this terrific fight but I’m confident he belongs on the world stage against any top cruiserweight.
Said CHE GUEVARA, matchmaker for KING SPORTS, “Sitting at ringside I had it 7-5 for Youri. He pushed the action and was more effective throughout the fight. Probably different scores if we fought in the United States.”
With the win Lebedev improved to 27-2-0 (20KO’s), while Kalenga, fighting in his eighth different country moved to 21-2-0 (14KO’s).