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Youri Kalenga aiming for fight with Denis Lebedev

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Youri Kalenga is looking to make a splash at cruiserweight now that he's a top contender.

Dougie Minehan

Cruiserweight contender Youri Kalenga is looking to fight WBA titleholder Denis Lebedev next, and says he wants to go after the rest of the division's belt carriers after that.

Kalenga (21-1, 14 KO), originally from Congo and now fighting out of France, has won five straight, including a split decision over Mateusz Masternak in June, which gave him the interim WBA belt. He successfully defended against Denton Daley on November 15.

"I want to fight Lebedev next and my promoter, Michael King will bring that fight to Los Angeles," Kalenga said. "Once I beat Lebedev, I will take on the other world champions - Yoan Pablo Hernandez, Marco Huck or Grigory Drozd. Give me any and all of them!"

The 26-year-old Kalenga is the No. 1 contender for Lebedev (26-2, 20 KO), who returned on September 27 with a second round knockout of Pawel Kolodziej. It was Lebedev's first fight in 16 months.

Manager Gary Hyde believes Kalenga has star potential.

"Youri is tough, rugged, brutal fighter and, at 26, he will be a big force at 200 pounds," Hyde said. "Youri has raw power in both hands and he's also a showman. He's going to be a huge star once U.S. fans get to see him in action. He didn't want to leave the final outcome to the judges, hence, scoring a devastating knockout in round 12. (Daley was game and he did put up a good fight."