Other Sport

'White Buffalo' the underdog?

2011-11-15 20:16
Francois Botha (File)

Johannesburg - South Africa's 43-year-old Francois "White Buffalo" Botha looks like a certain underdog in the WBF's heavyweight title fight at Montecasino on Saturday night.

On the scales, age-wise, in reach and in height, his opponent, Michael Grant of the United States, has a considerable advantage.

While revealing he was a spiritual soulmate of Botha, sharing religious beliefs, the affinity would be banished from his mind when he seeks to gain the WBF championship title.

It was declared vacant a couple of months ago when holder Evander "The Real Deal" Holyfield decided to fight for the more prestigious WBA title and capture a sixth such belt before the age of 50.

The WBF, lightly considered among the multi-alphabet of boxing associations round the globe, was at the verge of extinction.

It was revived under the presidency of Cape Town-based Howard Goldberg - and currently boast no more than four champions among the 17 weight divisions.

Botha recently stunned the boxing world when he dented the career of up-and-coming hope Flo Simba, who is half his age, with a crushing knock-out.

"The White Buffalo's" promotional company, in conjunction with Showpony Promotions, got together with WBF in an attempt to bring the organisation back from the dead.

And with five WBF titles up for grabs at Montecasino, the organisation's number of champions will be more than doubled in a matter of hours.

Malcolm Klassen in the junior lightweight division, Lbubalo Msutu in a bantamweight title fight, and Ali Funeka and Zolani Murali as junior welterweight contenders are other South Africans who will be vying to become WBF champions on Saturday.

Heading the bill labelled "Urban War" is the heavyweight clash between the two veteran contenders who are seeking an Indian Summer ending to their varied careers.

The 39-year-old Grant at this time is rated 24th heavyweight in the world or thereabouts in the most respected rankings.

Botha will come into the ring as a modest 55th - raising some eyebrows to the authenticity of the high-profiled nature of the contest.

But Grant says his record with five wins in his last five fights is proof that he is a genuine title contender - held back only from a higher ranking by the sleazy side of politics that is prevalent in boxing.

"I'm offered paltry purses to fight King Kongs who are controlled by certain unscrupulous promoters," he said.

"Then I'm punished for not accepting their offers."

Grant says he sees himself more as a boxer than a fighter, but he never goes into the ring pre-planning whether to go the distance or seek a knock-out.

"You have to weigh up your tactics from the opening bell, then fight accordingly," he says.

"Most pundits might feel I would end up a winner on points if the fight against Botha goes the distance and I can steer clear of his well-known punching power. But if I get the opportunity, I'll be hunting for a knock-out as well."

Botha has never avoided boxers of the highest repute, even though bouts against the likes of Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson and Holyfield ended with defeats within the distance.

Grant suffered an early defeat against Lewis at a similar time as Botha went down to the renowned British champion.

But both Grant and Botha predictably boast they are in better shape than in years and ready to conquer the WBF throne.

Read more on:    heavyweight boxing  |  francois botha
NEXT ON SPORT24X

No comment on Oscar - IAAF

2014-10-21 14:28

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

 

6 impressive camping tips

Check out these great tips that will make your camping experience so much better!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Free outdoor yoga classes
Watch: 5 skills to improve your BMX riding
Action camera for all occasions
Tips on how to set your fitness goals
 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
Vote

How much of a runner are you?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.