Image credit - Instagram @stevenbweinberg
ARTUR ‘THUNDER’ MANN believes having Cuban trainer Pedro Diaz in his corner will help him upset IBO cruiserweight champion Kevin Lerena this weekend.
The German based Kazakh will be in the champion’s Johannesburg back yard for his big challenge on Saturday, live on BoxNation.
Diaz' current stable includes former unified featherweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux, IBF super-lightweight title holder Ivan Baranchyk and emerging heavyweight star Filip Hrgovic.
Mann, who has won all 15 fights, says of his trainer: “Pedro works meticulously.
“With him, a lot of the emphasis is placed on our physical fitness and getting the right technique, but above all, it's on the tactics.
“He analyses each of his fighters and their opponents in great detail, and that amount of detail can make all the difference at World level.”
Mann, 28, enters his first World title contest following convincing wins over teak-tough Russian Alexey Zubov and the previously undefeated Alexander Peil in his last two bouts.
But he is no fool and the Hannover hotshot admits the South African champion is on another level and one of the best 200lb boxers on the planet.
He added: “I know Lerena is a tough opponent, but there are no easy fights at this level, and I wouldn't be here if I didn't think I could win.
"Lerena is a World Champion and deserves the utmost respect. He's currently among the top five cruiserweights in the world, a position you have to earn.
“However, I believe I’m the more complete fighter, and I will give everything in the ring to prove I'm the better man, and to bring the belt back to Germany."
Watch Lerena v Mann this Saturday night live on BoxNation.