More at stake for fat Botha

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

South Africa's charismatic heavyweight boxer, Francois Botha, steps into the ring on May 10 to defend his World Boxing Foundation (WBF) belt against German Tim Hoffmann, 40 in Germany.

Apart from merely making his first defence, Botha, an amiable fellow and former IBF champ, will also be fighting for recognition.

His manager Thinus Strydom revealed that a good win would guarantee his charge a top 15 spot in the WBO ratings.

Botha is yet to convince the ratings committee of the Puerto Rico-based sanctioning body.

In his last fight on February 6, an out of shape Botha, 40, laboured unnecessarily against Ron Guerrero, a Mexican journeyman, over 12 boring rounds at Tlokwe Banquet hall in Potchefstroom to a WBF win.

He appeared less than the conditioned fighter of old that held his own against celebrated boxers such as Michael Moorer, Mike Tyson, Shannon Briggs, Lennox Lewis and Vladimir Klitschko.

With 47 wins (28 KOs), four losses and two draws, if records decided fights, then the Witbank-born Botha should be too much for Hofmann.

The Body, as the German is nicknamed, has fought mainly mediocre opponents bar Vitali Klitschko, Michael Sprott and Henri Akinwande.

Even so Botha has been warned by fight supervisor Howard Goldberg that should he come into the fight looking like Mr Tyre, he'd stand no chance against Hoffmann.