Getting done in like this is heartbreaking‚ says 'robbed' SA boxer

A triumphant Ryno Liebenberg after his light heavyweight bout with Enrico Koelling at Emperors Palace on February 04, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
A triumphant Ryno Liebenberg after his light heavyweight bout with Enrico Koelling at Emperors Palace on February 04, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Anton Geyser/Gallo Images

Ryno Liebenberg has described as heartbreaking his controversial sixth-round technical knockout defeat to German Vincent Feigenbutz in Ludwigsburg near Stuttgart at the weekend.

Punishing the IBF Intercontinental super-middleweight champion on his home turf‚ Liebenberg knew he was destined to win the bout after trading blows in the fourth round and realising his opponent didn't have the firepower to hurt him.

Liebenberg suffered a cut on the head in the fifth round‚ which he believes was caused by a clash of heads‚ but he insists it didn’t impair his vision.

The South African brawler‚ who bleeds as easily as he fights‚ was well on top when the referee‚ without consulting the ringside doctor‚ waved the fight over in a decision that many onlookers felt saved the hometown boy from a looming stoppage defeat.

Liebenberg said on Facebook afterwards he was feeling strong in the sixth round.

ok so here goes my take on last night. from the moment we took this fight we made the decision to not let it be "left...

Posted by Ryno Liebenberg on Sunday, February 18, 2018

“Ref stops us just after I get to him [Feigenbutz] … checks my cut‚ I tell him ‘it’s nothing’. He says ‘it’s deep’‚ I say ‘where’s the doctor?’.”

The referee suddenly signalled it’s over.

“Devastating! It felt as if I couldn’t believe what just happened … WTF! Where is the doctor? Surely it can’t be that bad? It’s done‚ I lose on a TKO — a fight I had in my pocket.

“In my life I’ve always been a realist‚ but getting done in like this‚ it’s heartbreaking. I give up so much of my life for this sport‚ boxing‚ that I love and every time I’m in the ring it makes it worth every second.

"I feel so alive‚ just to have that feeling ripped from you by incompetent assholes that don’t think about or care what they are doing to a person.

“Boxing‚ the sport I love and hate at the same time.”

Ironically‚ Liebenberg and trainer Colin Nathan had travelled to Germany knowing they couldn’t afford to leave the outcome in the hands of the judges.

I would like to take a moment and thank TeamSauerland for hosting me. Going way above expectation to treat me and my...

Posted by Ryno Liebenberg on Monday, February 19, 2018

“We made the decision to not let it be left to the judges and go for the KO‚ after the Berlin fight‚” he said referring to his 2016 split decision defeat to Enrico Koelling.

“So our plan was simple. Progressive pressure and from round eight we go for it with everything in me.

“Rather leave the ring on the seam of my back than get robbed again.

“Walking to the ring there [are] 3000 people booing me‚ calling me sh*t‚ but I don’t care‚ I live for this sh*t … I’m ready‚ did the work‚ know what to do‚ let’s go!”

But the referee wasn’t following Liebenberg’s script.

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