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Botha gets Williams rematch

2013-02-17 16:38
Francois Botha and Sonny Bill Williams (Getty Images)
Cape Town - South African heavyweight Francois Botha will get a second go in the boxing ring against former All Black rugby star Sonny Bill Williams.

According to the Rapport website, Botha and Williams have agreed to a rematch in December in South Africa.

This comes after Williams defeated the 44-year-old Botha in Brisbane, Australia on February 8. The fight was marred in controversy when it ended with Williams receiving a unanimous points decision. But the fight ended after 10 rounds, instead of 12, as per World Boxing Association (WBA) rules and as had been advertised.

Botha was furious with officials after the decision was made to shorten the bout, with the 44-year-old looking to have worn out Williams by the end of the 10th."You know I love Sonny Bill, I think he's a great guy, a gentleman, but this was bullshit," the 115kg "White Buffalo" said after the fight.

Botha's boxing promoter, Thinus Strydom, said he and Williams's agent, Khoder Nasser, agreed to a rematch at 07:00 on Wednesday morning.

"Nasser phone me early and agreed on a fight in South Africa," said Strydom.

"They do however have a few pre-conditions, like sending samples three months prior to the fight as well as directly after the fight for dope tests. We don't have an issue with that." Reports from New Zealand and Australia claimed after the first fight that Botha had tested positive for banned substances, but the South African tested negative upon his return to the country.

Strydom confirmed the fight will take place sometime in December. "Out of principle we decided on December and we must now get a suitable date with the TV companies before signing the final contract."

Strydom also assured that this time the fight will be decided over 12 rounds - as stipulated by WBA rules.

HAVE YOUR SAY: Should the Botha-Williams rematch take place? Or was the first fight an embarrassment for the image of professional boxing? Send your thoughts to Sport24.


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