“Thunderbolt” - 29 August Emperors Palace - by Jeff Ellis

Ryno Liebenberg

For the diehard fans of boxing the non-title bout between Ryno Liebenberg and Tshepang Mohale was a humdinger, with an ending the underdog could only dream off.

Most ringsiders at the Box-and Dine stopped eating and were on their feet screaming and shouting for Liebenberg, the four-fight novice as he landed the coup de grâce.

Liebenberg had just upset the applecart in a mismatch that was not scripted. This is not how it was supposed to be! How did this happen?

Before the final right hand from Liebenberg had landed to the jaw of the former South African super middleweight and current light heavyweight champion, Mohale was giving Liebenberg a beating as there were screams of “Stop the Fight”.

The novice who was considered no more than a four-round fighter was taking a brutal battering and shots to the head that would have felled an ox. His face was puffed up and he was bleeding from cuts above both eyes.

Trainer Gert Strydom, tense and standing upright, climbed onto the apron of the ring, towel in hand a split second away from stopping the fight.

Instead it was the heart and fitness of Liebenberg that eventually saw him land a perfectly-timed right to the jaw that sent Mohale down crashing on his back. He staggered up at the count of eight but the referee completed the count.

Congratulations to referee Sazi Xamlashe for not stopping the fight in the early rounds, as this would have robbed the fans of a sensational finish.

The 23 year old Liebenberg has arrived and must be a leading contender for Prospect of the Year.