Things threatened to escalate at today’s final pre-fight press conference when Erik Skoglund (24-0, 11 KOs) and Ryno Liebenberg (17-2, 12 KOs) came face-to-face for the first time.
‘’I’m going to f*** you up,’’ said Liebenberg before lunging for the Swedish fighter during the customary head-to-head photographs.
Throughout the build up the Liebenberg has told Skoglund to prepare for a bad-blooded affair, and in front of the Swedish media, he showcased his trademark aggression at today’s press event.
‘’In South Africa we grow up fighting,’’ he said. ‘’You have to fight to survive. It’s eat or be eaten. They call me ‘The Lion’ because I’m a ferocious animal, and on Saturday night, I’m going to tear Skoglund apart!’’
‘’I respect Ryno as a fighter,’’ said Skoglund. ‘’He’s a tough guy who can take a punch and land a punch. He has talked a lot about what he is going to do to me, and I hope he brings me hell, as I’m ready for the test.’’
Promoter Nisse Sauerland is expecting an exciting contest when the light heavyweights collide ‘’It’s a boxing cliché to say that styles make fights, but this is the classic example,’’ said Sauerland. ‘’We have the boxer versus the brawler, and it’s sure to guarantee an explosive encounter. The IBO International title is now on the line, and both fighters will give it their all in this genuine 50-50 fight!’’
Mikaela Lauren (26-3, 11 KOs) is also in action defending her WBC Female World Super Welterweight title against former World Champion Ivana Habazin (15-2, 6 KOs).
‘’I’m really looking forward to this fight,’’ said Lauren. ‘’The arena is only five minutes from where I live so this will be a great homecoming. Ivana is a strong opponent, but my coach has told me to finish the fight early, so maybe I’ll take her out in the first-round. Either way, I want to give the Swedish fans a great show.’’
Habazin is hoping to spoil the party for the home fighter. ‘’I have prepared well and will do everything I can to win,’’ she says. ‘’I have not come here to lose. I have a lot of fans in Croatia supporting me, and I will be bringing the title back home to them.’’
Skoglund and Lauren’s title fights come as part of a blockbuster bill in the Swedish capital on Saturday night. Klara Svensson rematches Lucia Morelli, the ‘Golden Boy’ Oscar Ahlin faces the ‘Tiger’ Patrick Mendy and Otto Wallin takes on the big punching Brazilian Irineu Beato Costa Junior.
Tickets are available online via www.globearenas.se and www.AXS.com, by calling (+46) 0771-31 00 00 and from the Stockholm Globe Arenas Box Office.
All the fights are available to watch live on Viaplay Fighting.
Viaplay Fighting is the first package of its kind and will be available from April 22 in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland, featuring over 500 hours of exclusive live fighting each year from 150 events including UFC, Nordic Fight Night, Team Sauerland, Premier Boxing Champions, Matchroom Boxing and IMG.
For more information please visit www.viaplay.com