Kiwi agrees to fight Botha
Sydney - Rising Kiwi heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker and controversial South
African Francois Botha have ''agreed to terms'' for a fight in May in
According to the stuff.co.nz website
, it's a fight that has led to Parker's manager, Sir Bob Jones,
quitting over the suitability of pitching the youngster against Botha,
especially after Botha's recent controversy-filled fight with Sonny Bill
Williams in Australia.
Parker is now searching for a specialist sports management company to handle his affairs.
But Parker's promoters, Duco Events, are going ahead with a Botha
fight, believing Botha will draw attention while also presenting the
necessary lift in opposition for the 21-year-old New Zealander.
''We are dealing with Botha's representative and have agreed terms.
We have been talking to them for a few weeks now. We just need to get
the contract squared away'' said David Higgins, of Duco Events.
Auckland or Hamilton are likely venues.
Higgins said the 44-year-old Botha ''ticked all the boxes'' from a promotional perspective.
While Botha's loss to Williams was dogged by allegations of
match-fixing, doping and bribery, Higgins believed the veteran had shown
he could still box.
''We respect Sir Bob and his opinions. He is a bit of a purist when
it comes to opponent selection, looking at the technicalities,'' Higgins
said. ''We, as well as looking at that side of it, also look at the
''Obviously there is a show business, entertainment element and to
have a really big show which enables us to pay Joseph the big purse, we
need to tick the entertainment, showmanship type box as well as look for
a quality opponent. I think Mr Botha ticks both of those boxes.''
Botha will be a constant presence in Kiwi boxing circles this year.
He and Williams have reportedly agreed to a rematch in South Africa in