He lost a decision over 12 rounds – 117-110, 117-110, 115-113 – for the IBO International light-heavyweight title.
According to dispassionate ringsiders, the 117-110 scorecards were outrageous, not to speak of the referee who embarrassed both fighters with his poor showing.
Liebenberg always knew it would be a long shot winning a decision in his opponent’s backyard, but he didn’t disgrace himself and was even congratulated by the German promoter Nisse Sauerland.
Given this, Berman has already spoken to the Sauerland’s about featuring Liebenberg on a fight card in Germany, their traditional power base.
Trainer Colin Nathan was upset with the scoring but consoled himself with the knowledge that international officials – and not just local ones – can also be complicit in strange behaviour.
“I was proud. We went into the lion’s den and Ryno wasn’t overawed. He came to fight and gave Skoglund all sorts of problems,” said Nathan. “Trouble was Skoglund kept tying him up so he couldn’t get his shots off. Ryno’s not young, but still has plenty left.”