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Liebenberg braced for epic fight

2014-08-07 11:58
Ryno Liebenberg (supersport.com)

Cape Town - Unbeaten Ryno Liebenberg faces the toughest fight of his career on Saturday when he fights Russia’s Denis Grachev for the vacant WBC Silver light-heavyweight belt at Emperors Palace.

Liebenberg and Grachev have engaged in a war of words for months, first via social media and more latterly face to face, but they will have to put the talking aside when the action starts in the “Silver Salvo” tournament. Neither is a classical boxer, preferring to fight and throw bombs.

Indeed, none of Liebenberg’s last three opponents saw the second round and he will be looking to make it KO number four.

Grachev has kept better company in his career, having fought champions Lucian Bute and Zsolt Erdei, but he is coming off two losses and is desperate to salvage his championship hopes.

Chris Byrd, the former two-time heavyweight champion who now trains Grachev, expects a hard fight.

“It will be a good bout against an undefeated guy who wants to stay undefeated.

"We know it will be tough. I was a defensive-minded fighter and I’m a defensive-minded trainer.

"Boxing is about self-defence. I’ve worked on countering shots and throwing more . . . being smart and intelligent.

"Can you avoid punches? Can you break a guy down? Can you be intelligent in the ring? Those are the questions I’m trying to answer with Denis.”

The five-fight bill includes the outstanding Thabo Sonjica, who defends his IBO junior-featherweight belt against Roli Gasca, and also popular Kevin Lerena. The big-hitting cruiserweight is eyeing win number 10 against southpaw Marcos Antonio Ahumada of Argentina.

SuperSport will cross to the live action on SS7/HD at 7.30pm.

Read more on:    boxing

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