Press Release: South African super middleweight Ryno Liebenberg (17-5) has always been an honest fighter, so when he says heís finished if he loses his next fight, you know itĎs not hype. ďIf he beats me, Iím done,Ē he says of the Congo's Patrick Mukala (9-0), whom he fights in a ten rounder at Emperors Palace on October 21st. ďThe guys Iíve lost to, sometimes controversially, have all been involved in high-level championship fights since,Ē says Liebenberg. ďThis guy [Mukala] is a nobody. He hasnít beaten anyone. If I canít get past a guy like this, someone Iím supposed to destroy, Iím done.Ē
The veteran admits to becoming complacent in his most recent fight, over-relying on his outstanding fitness against Enrico Koelling, but this hasnít been the case ahead of his next assignment. He took eight weeks off work to dedicate himself to training. Heís also dieted for five weeks and was on weight during a test weigh-in yesterday.
ďIíve pulled finger,Ē he says, supplementing his training at Colin Nathanís HotBox with working out at the home gym he recently built. He draws inspiration from the quality of performance he produced in all five of his defeats which have come in the past three years. He pushed Eleider Alvarez hard before cuts ended his challenge in 2014, and Alvarez now fights Adonis Stevenson for the world championship in December.
If bleeding will get the job done, Ryno Liebenberg will happily bleed. Twice he fought Enrico Koelling to a standstill and the German now fights Artur Beterbiev for the IBF belt, while Eric Skoglund has been involved in the Super Series.
These underscore both the quality of opposition Liebenberg has been matched with and the tough demands placed on him.
ďThatís why I canít begin to contemplate defeat on the 21st. Iím lucky; Iíve never needed boxing. I love the sport and I love to fight. But thereís no point in going on and losing. My family is growing Ė I have a baby on the way Ė and life moves on. I believe I have a few years left and this fight will prove it.Ē
Liebenberg has consequently promised Mukala, from DRC, will be in ďthe rawl of his lifeĒ. But he isnít under-estimating the young lion.
ďHe hits effing hard. Heís a very strong, physical guy. He has power in both hands, and is quite clever. The little Iíve seen of him, he believes in his power. But heís never fought anyone like me. Iím not one of the bums heís fought. Look what happened to Brandon Thysse . . . too much too soon. Thatís what this kid is in for, I promise you.Ē