White Buffalo charges again

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

The world of international boxing just cannot do without Francois Botha.

Just when Botha seems to have reached the end of the road as a pugilist, the Australian-based World Boxing Foundation (WBF) has sanctioned this 40-year-old former International Boxing Federation (IBF) heavyweight champion to fight for its vacant belt.

Cape Town-based Howard Goldberg, who represents the WBF in Africa, announced yesterday that the "White Buffalo" will oppose Englishman Danny "Briton Bomber" Williams for the vacant belt in Egypt on November 30.

The belt was held by Poland's Albert "The Dragon" Sosnowski who won it in 2006 on points against Samoan Lawrence Tauasa.

Goldberg said Sosnowski was relieved the belt about five months ago because of being inactive.

The hierarchy of the WBF then approved Botha on the basis that this fearless local fighter, who fought world beaters such as Mike Tyson, Shannon Briggs, Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko, is its interim champion.

Botha won that "B" grade belt in July last year when he outpointed Bob Mirovic. It was Botha's comeback fight in a local ring. He campaigned in the US since 1991.

Goldberg described the Botha-Williams clash as a very interesting and good fight for the WBF, which could be a blood bath.

He warned Botha, who has 45 wins (28 knockout), four defeats and two draws to be superfit because Williams, who has 31 knockouts from 40 victories and six losses, is powerful.

Williams , 35, is another fearless pugilist. He too fought top fighters such as Julius Francis, Tyson and Klitschko. One of his 40 victims is South Africa's Anton Nel who succumbed to Williams' power in five rounds.

Botha will be remembered for breaking the hearts of thousands of Germans at the Martin-Schleyer Halle arena in Stuttgart in 1995 when he defeated their idol Axel Schulz for the IBF belt. But Botha tested positive for steroids shortly after the fight and was stripped of the title.