Boxing Snippets

The Lion roars once again!

It was one of those pick ‘em fights that had popular opinion split down the middle. The old war horse, Ryno “The Lion” Liebenberg, against the undefeated upstart, Rowan “Braveheart” Campbell. The definition of a crossroads fight if there ever was one.
When referee Tony Nyangiwe waved the fight over in the eighth round, it was the 37-year-old Liebenberg who had his hand raised, proving at least half the experts wrong. The result was not as much a surprise as was the one-sided nature of Liebenberg’s victory. Campbell, bleeding over both eyes, was all heart and it is a testimony to his conditioning that he ended the fight on his feet, but he could not offer much else as Liebenberg battered him from pillar to post in a rough affair that saw point deductions from both sides.
With the victory, Liebenberg, a former South African lightheavyweight champion, in addition to picking up regional IBO and WBA belts, also became the South African super middleweight champion in descending order, emulating, on local level at least, a South African great in Sugarboy Malinga.
Did Liebenberg expect to win in this dominant fashion? “When I hit him with the first jab and he tried to grab my legs in the first round, I thought maybe they were trying some trick on me, but then I jabbed him twice and he did it again. That’s when I knew he was wary of me. He was not in his element. We decided to maintain one pace throughout the fight, and it was enough to put him on the backfoot. The game plan worked.” Liebenberg put Campbell down with a beauty of a left hook in the second and from then on it was downhill for the youngster.
The rawler from Krugersdorp is gracious in victory. “I take nothing away from him. He was fit and he was there all the way. He would have fought until he couldn’t see any more. He had nothing by the seventh.” Does he think that Campbell can bounce back from his defeat? “You know what, it can go either way. I looked the same way after (Eleider) Alvarez beat me up. You either get over it and you work on it, or you don’t. Rowan couldn’t have worked any harder than he did. He will have to learn to work smarter and better. Brandon Thysse got a hiding against Nkululeko Mhlongo and look how well he came back. I got a hiding against Alvarez and I came back. Then again, other guys never come back. It all depends on Rowan’s character. I really hope he does come back. He has all the tools to make it, he just needs to refine them.”
A defeat would have meant retirement but now Liebenberg wants to have one more reach at the brass ring. “Like I’ve said, I would like to have one more international fight. There is nothing local for me and it is good money over there. It will give me an opportunity to win a fight overseas which I have never done.”
That last statement requires an asterisk. Liebenberg has fought everybody, from world champions like Eleider Alvarez and Tommy Oosthuizen to world title challengers like Enrico Koeling and Vincent Feigenbutz to contenders like Erik Skoglund and was robbed on more than one occasion, ending up on the wrong end of dodgy decisions.
Is there any specific country where he would like to fight? Liebenberg is his usual straight shooter self. “I would like to go back to Germany to ‘moer’ them!”
There you have it. Line up your best prospect, Germany. “The Lion” will let you know if he is any good.

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