Heavyweight contender Kevin Lerena is planning to take additional time off before returning to the ring.

Lerena (28-2, 14 KOs) had initially planned to fight in the month of March.

But now he might stay out until a date in April.

As BoxingScene.com recently reported, he might return to the ring against Ryan Merhy.

Lerena saw plenty of action in 2022.

In March, Lerena made picked up a four round stoppage of veteran Bogdan Dinu. Then in the month of September, he earned a dominant twelve round unanimous decision over Polish giant Mariusz Wach.

Two months later, in December, Lerena challenged WBA "regular" champion Daniel Dubois as part of the undercard to the trilogy fight between Tyson Fury and Derek Chisora.

Lerena dropped Dubois in the first round, and then was credited with two more knockdowns as Dubois had trouble putting weight on an injured leg. Dubois would recover by third, dropping Lerena and then pounding him with punches against the ropes for a stoppage.

"For many asking in anticipation - I won’t be fighting in the beginning of March. I made the decision to take some time off to repair my niggles that have been bothering me. I want to spend quality time with my wife and kids. We got a new bundle of joy in bound and that is of most importance," Lerena stated.

"I fought in September 2022 and in December 2022 for the WBA world title. My body and mind hasn’t had the necessary time to recover. Two fights back-to-back in which I carried a lot of weight on my shoulders. I think fighting in March is rushing my return and would not be in my best interest. I hope to get out again in the month of April. Once again to my loyal supporters - thank you."