Liebenberg hunts in unfriendly turf
The Herculean task for Ryno "The Lion" Liebenberg of challenging young knockout artist Vincent Feigenbutz in Germany has become even more daunting for the 34-year-old South African.
That is because the US-based championship committee of the IBF has appointed two judges from Germany.
They are Joerg Milke and Holger Wiemann, while their colleague Dave Parris is from the United Kingdom. The referee will be Massimiliano Bianco from Italy.
The IBF Inter-Continental light heavyweight fight will take place at Ludwigsburg Arena on February 17.
It will be Feigenbutz's third defence of the title he won in 2016.
The 22-year-old champion from Karlsruhe, a city in south-western Germany, has knocked 24 of his 27 victims against two losses, and is rated No4 by the IBF.
Without suggesting that anything underhand might occur on the night, the composition of the judges makes it even imperative for Liebenberg to leave nothing to chance. Liebenberg, from Krugersdorp on the West Rand, has been to Germany before.
He suffered what he termed "robbery" to Enrico Koelling in Neubrandenburg for the vacant WBA Inter-Continental light heavyweight title in October 2016.
Koelling won that bout on a split points decision.
"The nasty decision against Koelling taught me that when you challenge a champion in his backyard, knock him out," he said.
"Either I knock Vincent out or he knocks me out. I am not going to fool myself and go full 12 rounds hoping to win on points because that will not happen.
"If I lose, I will quit. I won't carry on; I have a family and there is a new baby on the way."
Trainer Colin Nathan said: "It's absolute do or die for Ryno. He is five percent within the required weight limit. Training has gone well and we have a good game plan."