Ryno “Lion” Liebenberg, a former multiple SA, Africa and International boxing champion in two weight divisions, invites business people to assist him – through his non-title 10-round fight with Rowan Campbell on March 13 – to raise money for legitimate child welfare organisations in Johannesburg
Liebenberg signed a six figure purse for what could be his last boxing match here. To set the ball rolling in terms of garnering financial support in his very important assignment of showing humanity, Liebenberg says he will donate all his earnings from that fight to be staged by Golden Gloves at Emperors Palace. The only money he will deduct is the 25% pay to trainer and manager Colin Nathan, with the rest being donated.
He intends to donate to more than one child welfare organisations. Liebenberg – a former IBO All Africa, IBO Intercontinental, WBC International Silver, WBC International, SA, IBO International light heavyweight and ABU super middleweight champion from Krugersdorp – says the more money he gets, the more welfare entities he will help.
Liebenberg has promised sponsors maximum mileage from the fight, to be televised live by SuperSport. He explained: "I will wear plain white boxing shorts. Any sponsor will have their names or logo emblazoned on those boxing shorts. That is why I am pleading with business people to come into the party so that we can donate to multiple legitimate children foundations,” said the married father of two girls and a boy.
He says: "At some point we must put our own self-interest on hold and look at those who have no one to look at when they need simple bread and milk. You never know who you are helping. It could be the next state president, a doctor or nurse to save lives, next world boxing champion or an individual who will assist your own children in future. Children are innocent, we must help them beyond colour line. I have involved my wife in search for legitimate children welfare centres.”
Liebenberg, 37, is from a poor family but he now owns a very successful paint shop in Cresta, south of Johannesburg. “This could be my last fight here at home before I have the last one abroad. So I want to bow out in style by giving back to the poor,” he said.
Liebenberg last fought in March when he won a closely contested international fight against Congolese Alex Kabangu in what was the 20th win for the 37-year-old local boxer who has fought 28 times.
On the other hand, Campbell is a 26-year-old promising newcomer whose career is guided by Peter Smith. Campbell is undefeated after 12 fights. A lion-hearted hard worker, who goes by the moniker Braveheart, Campbell is being groomed nicely and the future looks bright. He holds the SA and IBO All Africa super middleweight belts. Victory against a rugged veteran, Liebenberg, will confirm him as a long-term investment for Smith.