Buffalo full of confidence

2011-10-06 18:36

Johannesburg - South African boxer Francois Botha says he will knock out American Michael Grant in their WBF World Heavyweight title fight on November 19 at Montecasino.

After his surprise technical knockout of Flo Simba in June, 'The White Buffalo' believed he was ready for any opponent.

"I see a knockout coming, the Buffalo is going to roam the Prairie. I'm going to knock him out, he's coming to my country now," said Botha.

"I'm going to reclaim my belt that I lost to Evander Holyfield, but he's going to have to stand in line after I've knocked out Michael Grant."

Botha, 43, also said at the announcement for the event, billed as the 'Urban War', that a win over Grant would secure a match-up with former world heavyweight champion Holyfield.

His 39-year-old opponent fought, and lost to, Lennox Lewis earlier in his career.

"At one stage he was the next Mike Tyson, but you have to look at the guys he knocked out. I think my sister could knock him out," said Botha.

"We're a couple of weeks away now, probably a month away. I'm in good shape.

"I've been training before today for about four days, sparring every day. My preparation, my diet, everything, I've got about eight kilos to lose so it's going to be hard work, but I'm going to be the part and look the part."

Botha said he was now in better shape than he was before his fight against Simba when he was expected to lose to the young fighter.

"I will definitely be in better shape for Grant, Simba wasn't sure but I did train hard and I still had the excess weight I had to throw off. I think this time I have the time, I've been in training and it's going to be easier to shed the extra weight," he said.

"If I come in 40 percent better than I am now, nobody can beat me. I'm not easy to hit, even though it looks like it because my hands are down, but come in the ring and it's a different story."

Botha is not only focused on his individual career, but is also trying to promote boxing in South Africa and throughout the continent through Showpony Promotions.

"We're doing our next show in February where we want to bring Evander Holyfield back and then we have Cameroon and the DRC where we also want to stage shows," he said.

"We're basically doing a roadshow all through Africa and creating champions for countries and reviving boxing in Africa."

The other fights on the night include South Africans Ali Funeka and Zolani Marali tussling for the WBF World Junior Welterweight title, and in the WBF World junior lightweight title Malcolm Klaas will fight Mexican Rafael Guzman.

For the WBF World Cruiserweight title Ilunga Makabu of Congo takes on Brazilian Pedro Otas.

In the WBF World Bantamweight title bout, South African Lbubalo Msutu will be looking to overcome Dennis Tubieron of the Philippines.

The South African pair of Gerry Nekhubvi and Mthobisi Buthelezi will fight it out for the WBF Welterweight African title making up the sixth fight of the evening.