Nick Gordon
1 minute read
29 Jan 2014
7:00 am

Fuse lit for African explosion

Nick Gordon

The sound of leather reaching it's target filled the air at the Hot Box Gym yesterday as the three combatants involved in "African Explosion" went through their routines.

FILE PICTURE: Ryno Liebenberg (Red trunks) celebrates during the Light heavyweight bout between Ryno Liebenberg (Red truncks) and Gabriel Aturo Ramirez (White and light blue truncks) at Emperor's Palace on August 31, 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)

For Hekkie Budler, Ryno Liebenberg and Adam de Moor, February 15 is looming large as they ramp up preparations for their respective bouts.

“It’s a fight I must win,” the unbeaten Liebenberg said of his proposed tussle with Joey Vegas for the WBC international light-heavyweight title.

Having already secured the IBO All Africa, IBO intercontinental and WBC international silver belts, this fight is an opportunity for the 28-year-old to add to his collection.

“If I beat this guy I should move up the WBC ratings. I’m at No 14 now and he’s No 9 so a win here will be good for me and hopefully it will mean bigger things,” Liebenberg, who hasn’t lost in 14 outings, said yesterday.

“It’s a hard fight. Much harder than the last two and some people even think we might lose,” Colin Nathan, who trains all three, said of Liebenberg’s bout.

The pressure is on stablemate Budler as he defends his IBO title while also putting his newly acquired WBA crown on the line for the first time against Karluis Diaz.

“Camp’s gone really fast and sometimes you think to yourself if you’ve done enough but we’ve covered all the bases,” Nathan added.

Budler steps in with a point to prove with critics arguing that he has yet to earn the WBA belt due to the fact that the organisation handed it to him when champion Ryo Miyazaki vacated last month.

De Moor will be looking to keep his winning run going when he meets Moses Kamara in a junior-welterweight bout.