Ryno Liebenberg (17-2, 12 KOs) is full of confidence as he prepares to travel to Stockholm to face Swedish boxing star Erik Skoglund (24-0, 11 KOs).
The South African fighter says Skoglund is yet to face a ‘real’ opponent and will be in for a ‘big surprise’ when they come face-to-face on April 23 at the Hovet.
‘’There’s two things Erik should know,’’ says Liebenberg. ‘’I’m coming to Sweden to kick his ass, and once we’re in the ring, he can run but he can’t hide!
‘’He’s a well-schooled boxer, but he has never fought anyone like me. I’m the first real opponent he’s faced and he’s going to be in for a big surprise. He is going to see that at the top level of boxing, it’s a totally different ball game.’’
Fighting has always been a part of Liebenberg’s life. Born and raised Krugersdorp, a mining city in the West Rand close to Johannesburg, he would often settle disputes with his fists before ever entering a boxing gym.
‘’I used to get into a lot of street fights,’’ he recalls. ‘’And I’m not talking about one or two, I mean hundreds. I was getting into trouble with school and the police, until I was fourteen and my father suggested I go to the local boxing gym.’’
It was here that Liebenberg earned his nickname the ‘Lion’. ‘’They called me ‘Tau’ which is Tswana for lion,’’ he explains. ‘’It was because I had this long blonde hair and I was a guy who wanted to fight the whole time.’’
As a professional fighter, Liebenberg has continued to live up to his nickname. ‘’I’ve never been scared of anyone, no matter how big or small, I don’t care. Whether it’s in the ring or in the streets, I don’t take a step back for anyone,'' he says.
‘’On April 23, it’s going to be like two dogs fighting over one bone. Erik had better be ready because I know I have what it takes to beat him. I’m coming to his home country and I’m coming to win!’’
IBF Intercontinental Light Heavyweight Champion Erik Skoglund faces Ryno Liebenberg as part of a blockbuster bill in the Swedish capital. Mikaela Lauren defends her WBC Female World Super Welterweight title against former World Champion Ivana Habazin, Anthony Yigit faces the tough British boxer Chris Goodwin, 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 for the Nordic Fight Night on April 23 at the Hovet in Stockholm 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.