Botha, Grant set for rematch

2012-01-14 14:26

Johannesburg - Francois Botha could meet Michael Grant in a rematch at some point this year.

The South African heavyweight, nicknamed White Buffalo, may get an opportunity to even the score after his 12th-round knockout in a title fight against the American late last year.

The idea is to give Botha, 43, another chance after his defeat, Showpony Promotions' Damian Michael said on Friday.

"The contract for the Montecasino fight stipulated that we would have an option to stage a return bout.

Negotiations are already in progress for a co-promotion with American interests in what we believe would be a money-spinning drawcard in Las Vegas."

Michael said Botha had won the hearts of SA boxing enthusiasts with his performance at Montecasino, where he was clearly ahead on points before the last-round knockout.

"Fransie came into the ring against Grant at his lightest weight in almost 20 years after shedding 20kg," said Michael. "He has been training ever since and he won't hear of retiring."

Botha has held the IBF and WBF heavyweight titles in a varied and controversial career in which he fought the likes of Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield.

Last year, he punctured the aspirations of promising young Flo Simba with a knockout at Emperors Palace.

Botha's professional record now stands at 58 fights, 48 victories, six defeats, three draws and a no-contest.

He has also appeared in kickboxing and mixed martial arts bouts and ventured into promoting.

"There is no doubt he remains a character who can defy the odds," said Michael.

"A return against Grant seems logical considering what happened at Montecasino.

“Grant is contracted to fight under our banner in his next fight, so we are going ahead with plans for a return."