Botha: SBW should be shaking

2012-10-23 21:29

Durban - Former IBF world heavyweight boxing champion Francois Botha says New Zealand rugby star Sonny Bill Williams is in for a "rude awakening" when they meet in the ring.

"I’ve seen him as a boxer in the few fights that he’s had, and all I can say is he’s in for a rude awakening," said Botha, 44, one of South Africa’s most prominent boxers.

"He’s going to be hit harder than he’s ever been before. If I was in his shoes, I’d be shaking."

The fight between the two was confirmed on Tuesday, with World Sport Promotions announcing in Durban that the bout would take place on November 24 in Brisbane, Australia.

The 10-round contest will take place at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre after organisers confirmed they did not have enough financiers for the bout to take place in South Africa.

Botha, nicknamed "White Buffalo", has 60 fights under his belt, including duels with Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko.

He last fought in June last year when he crushed young heavyweight Flo Simba via a sixth round knockout.

"I fought a 21-year-old recently who had 10 knockouts and look what I did to him," he said. "I destroyed his career."

Williams, 27, has been capped 19 times by the All Blacks and has won all five of his professional fights, the latest in February when he claimed the New Zealand heavyweight title following a first-round knock-out of Clarence Tillman.

Botha said: "He’s never been in this league, so let’s see what he can do when he has a real fighter in front of him."

He said his attraction to fighting Williams stemmed from his popularity on the rugby field.

"He is a superstar in rugby. He has worldwide acclaim. He’s very popular now, being a boxer, so we’re capturing fans of two sports. That’s the only reason I’m doing this."

His coach Hardy Mileham insisted they were not underestimating their opponent.

"We’re not under-rating him at all," said Mileham.

"We’ve seen his boxing skills and he’s not bad, but we’re training thoroughly for 10 rounds."

Williams said he was looking forward to the challenge of taking on the most celebrated boxer of his career.

"I'll be stepping into the ring against a very experienced fighter who has all the great heavyweights of the last decade on his record," he said.

"But I feel I have prepared well. I can get the job done. If he is taking me lightly he will be in for a shock. He sees me only as a rugby player. This will be his mistake on the night."


  • husaberg.twostroke - 2012-10-23 22:24

    Ill tell you this I dont want to be in a ring with Mr Botha. Jeeezz just look at him he looks like a roughneck. Eina.

      tang.willemse - 2012-10-24 15:43

      I like Botha and SBW both. But this arrogance from the White Buffalo will cost him. Mark my words. I've seen SBW box and he's definitely not the best there is but he knows how to sum up opponents and can take a few hits.

      thomas.cannon.712 - 2012-10-24 19:54

      Tang!! I think you are right, this show from Botha is a bit over the top!! Age makes that one fight one too many, and Sonny Bill is All Black rugby fit and if it doesn't happen in rounds one to three Botha is in trouble!!!!!!1

  • Sammy Willow - 2012-10-23 23:21

    if Botha can go full 10 rounds being a smoker, will be points decsion

      merven.halo - 2012-10-24 07:36

      8 out of his last 10 fights lasted 10 rounds and longer and he only lost 4 of those fights. It is going to be a epic battle.

  • gerrit.vanpletzen - 2012-10-24 04:11

    Put your fists where your mouth is, and we'll see you after the fight.

  • roy.wadhams.1 - 2012-10-24 06:13

    Go Botha,you can teach this guy a lesson. We could not beat him/the All Blacks at rugby but we can teach them how to box.

  • chrisin.oz.1 - 2012-10-24 06:31

    Hopefully he will show Money Bill Williams that he does not belong in boxing or rugby. The guy is a sideshow, not a sports star. Pretty much like the stupid dancing girls at a T20 cricket game.

      Nakkie69 - 2012-10-24 15:23

      chrisin, i take it you don't watch rugby...?? AT ALL !! Even a blind man that listens to rugby on the radio will tell you that he definitely is a force to be reckoned with on the rugby field.

  • my10cent - 2012-10-24 07:06

    Based purely on physical looks, Botha will NEVER last 10 rounds against SBW. Then there is the case of him being a smoker and a drinker too. - 2012-10-24 11:20

      i agree. but what about based on punches? i dont know anything about boxing other than Floyd MM has lightning hands but wont fight the Pac Man. Hope Botha floors him

      theunis.botha.96 - 2012-10-24 13:09

      They should not have allowed this fight.Sonny Bill is in the prime of his life with a lot going for him at the moment.Sense'less from him to challenge ill fate.

  • roy.wadhams.1 - 2012-10-24 07:31

    To those who think that Botha does not stand a chance against Williams,remember experience counts and Botha has a lot. Williams won against "unknowns" but is now coming up against one that is ring savvy. Those who are gonna laugh at Botha might just have to change their tune.

      merven.halo - 2012-10-24 07:40

      Talk about experience: Botha: rounds boxed = 350 Williams: rounds boxed =16

  • marius.potgieter.39 - 2012-10-24 08:24

    Fight not going past 3 ROUNDS.... SBW may be younger and the fittest but BOTHA'S punching power will by to much for SBW !!!!

  • zwelithini.gagayi - 2012-10-24 08:31

    Botha is experienced and a heavy puncher but he is slow and cannot move quicker, I wonder if he can even fight for 10 rounds at his age. But he is still dangerous. I have never seen Williams fight but he will be better advised not to mix with this old man but use his jab avoid his big punches and in the earlier rounds. The old man may get tired and it will be his chance to knock him. But he needs to be careful all the time.

      merven.halo - 2012-10-24 09:34

      His last fight was last month and lasted 10 rounds. He barely lost on points, something like 98 vs 100. I see a very tough time for Williams, but hey, the youngster got youth on his side.

  • michael.hudson.18062533 - 2012-10-24 13:22

    Sbw has so far fought a bunch of bums. Can't wait to see this fight. Not sure why sbw is putting himself out for a decent fight now? He's going to miss quite a few weeks of the nrl next year because Botha is going to put him in a world of pain

  • jose.d.santos.9041 - 2012-10-24 14:43

    cant wait to c this

  • KingCadwaladr - 2012-11-12 13:30

    Sonny Bill is in for a hell of a shock, claiming the NZ heavyweight title was a sham. Ring time & experience counts for a hell of a lot in this game. Five fights againts bums counts for nothing for SBW IF? he meets Botha - the drinker, the smoker or whatever, 44 aint too old to kick ass).

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