Southpaw Lerena (21-1, 9 KO's) is arguably the biggest star in South African boxing after Zolani Tete and a threat to the East European domination of the 200lb division.
Lerena, 26, won his title in September 2017 after outpointing Congolese powerhouse Youri Kalenga.
He made a successful first defence against Ukrainian Dmytro Kucher, who had knocked out Enzo Maccarinelli inside a round in 2016.
Again he had to go the full 12 rounds in his next defence and made it a Ukrainian double last June when he travelled to Baku and outpointed Roman Golovashchenko.
Lerena’s only blemish was a points loss against Johnny Muller in November 2014 that he avenged with a 10th round knockout 18 months later.
German based Kazakh Mann (15-0, 8 KOs) turned professional in May 2015 and has claimed 4 undefeated fighters' scalps on his way up the cruiserweight division.
He had boxed exclusively in Germany until his last fight in November when he outpointed Russian Alexey Zubov in Chicago.
Lerena told Soweto Live: “I wake up and I think of Artur Mann.
“At the top there are no easy fights. When people ask what I think of Artur Mann‚ I say he’s 15-0. That says enough... I’ve never been a boxer to cherry-pick opponents‚ duck and dive.
“God-willing we’re victorious‚ I know there’s a unification down the line for me — bigger and better things.”
The cruiserweight division has given BoxNation subscribers a procession of great battles over the years and this weekend’s clash is another potential thriller.