South Africa

Tommy, Ryno beat the scales

2015-03-14 09:29
Ryno Liebenberg (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Thomas Oosthuizen and Ryno Liebenberg both made the 79.4kg weight limit on Friday for their grudge IBO light-heavyweight title fight at Emperors Palace on Saturday night.

But that was all they had in common as they traded icy looks and provocative, threatening comments.

"I've always wanted Oosthuizen. If he trades punches and doesn't run, it's the end," Liebenberg said on Friday.

Unbeaten former IBO super middleweight champion Oosthuizen counter-punched with his own view.

"I'm no criminal, but this fight could be murder because all the boxing skills are on my side," Oosthuizen said.

Although neither fighter has yet to make any notable impact in the light-heavyweight division, the persuasive influence of Golden Gloves promoter Rodney Berman has resulted in both of them moving into the top 10 rankings of the WBC organisation, as well as gaining recognition for their headlong clash as an IBO title fight.

The pair could not be more different in their approach inside the ring and their contrast in styles has been an additional attraction, with Oosthuizen more in the category of a classical fighter and Liebenberg invariably looking for a knockout and opportunity to go for the kill.

"It's no secret that Oosthuizen and Liebenberg have long wanted to get into the same ring together," said Berman after Oosthuizen came back to boxing to retain his unbeaten record of 23 wins and two draws. "Both need an impressive victory to put their careers back on track. Liebenberg after his recent first defeat against the formidable Eleider Alvarez in Monte Carlo and Oosthuizen to show he still has what it takes to be a champion after his November victory over Russian journeyman Denis Grachev.

"I had previously believed that Tommy would have too much skill for Ryno, but he was all over the place for much of his 11th round TKO win over Grachev.

"If Liebenberg lands as many blows as Grachev did, it could be all over. Rayno punches a lot harder than the Russian."

Read more on:    boxing
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