Local hard man Ryno Liebenberg is deep into preparation for his next testing assignment – taking on German favourite Enrico Koelling in his back yard on October 1.
Liebenberg is being brought back to Europe on the strength of his last showing, a narrow defeat to Erik Skoglund in Sweden where he won over the audience with his bruising, never-say-die approach.
As Liebenberg knows the realities of world boxing, where the travelling fighter seldom receives a favour, he isn’t planning a distance fight.
“I don’t care [fighting in Kolling’s hometown], as long as the people are fair, although this seldom happens in Europe. He’ll be asleep before six rounds are done. Kolling is like Gennady Golovkin, but without the power. He has good movement, but that’s all.”
Liebenberg’s last result still irks him.
“I believe I beat Erik Skoglund. The referee wasn’t adequate; he helped him. Skoglund kept holding, but the referee let it go. Anyone can take a look, it’s there on YouTube. Anywhere else, the fight would have been stopped due to Skoglund’s bleeding from a cut opened by a fair punch.”
Kolling is different in style to Skoglund, which suits the South African.
“I’m going to knock him out. He’s not the same level as me. He’s a very good technical fighter and applies good pressure and good movement, but he hits like a girl. He isn’t a guy who runs away. He’s there to be hit, and that suits me.
“Kolling is completely different to Skoglund. He’s a nice, skilled boxer. I’m rough, I don’t stick to the rules. I do what I have to do. It’s going to be a show boxer against a fighter, and I’m the fighter.”
Trainer Colin Nathan is hard at work planning a strategy to beat the German, a former Olympian.
“We were disappointed with the last result, but I guess that’s what happens when you travel. We’re still a few weeks out, but Ryno is already hard at training. He’s suspended his job – he owns a paint company – to dedicate himself full-time to preparation.
“Kolling is slick, but he’s there to be hit. He’s a guy who knows to look after himself, which is what he’ll need. We’re unlikely to get a decision, so the plan will be to overwhelm him from early. We’re looking forward to the trip. The Sauerlands always treat us well and the European fight scene is very vibrant.”