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Friday, February 08, 2013

Sonny Bill Williams goes the distance with Francois Botha

Sonny Bill Williams went the distance and won on a points decision in his WBA International Heavyweight title bout against veteran Francois Botha. The clash ended controversially as it was reduced from twelve to ten rounds shortly before the end.

Williams, now unbeaten in six fights, was better overall but 44-year old Botha, who has fought the likes of Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, and Evander Holyfield, landed some punishing blows at the end as gutsy Williams somehow managed to stay standing.

While Botha can't argue that Williams got the better of him points wise, he was unhappy with the sudden change of script as the fight was sanctioned for twelve rounds.

"You know I love Sonny Bill, I think he's a great guy, a gentleman, but this was bullshit," said Botha, who won over the Brisbane crowd with his candor. He also called for a rematch.

"A rematch — if he can beat me he can go on, but if he doesn't he should throw in the towel."

Williams will now focus on his upcoming season in League with the Sydney Roosters in the NRL.

The fight was the main event on a night that included an undercard fight between Quade Cooper and insurance salesman Barry Dunnett. You can view the Quade Cooper fight highlights here.

Posted by Rugbydump at 1:36 pm | View Comments (10)

Viewing 10 comments

FlatdogSA Top Comment | February 08, 2013 3:49 pm

Was Bryce Lawrence the ref?

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Reality February 08, 2013 7:23 pm

More like Craig Joubert.

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stroudos February 08, 2013 4:21 pm

Anyone know why the format was changed? Apart from the fact Williams was being handed his arse at the time...

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Guy February 09, 2013 9:53 am

Maybe Don King organized this event?!

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matt the mauler February 08, 2013 6:44 pm

As posted on the Cooper video:

Can't say I'm a fan of pro rugby players pretending to be pro boxers. They're quite clearly in better physical condition than the amateur boxing opponents (or boxers who are quite clearly past their best!) chosen for them .

Boxing is one of the most technically gifted sports there is (despite the brutality involved) and people at the top of the sport train for months (if not years) for a single fight.

SBW and Cooper lack any real boxing quality and if they came up against any pro boxer of any quality they would be down and fast. As would a pro boxer who stepped on to the rugby field.

Don't mind people doing it as an exhibition or for charity etc... but to try and carve out this boxing persona is just embarrassing.

If SBW thinks he's the mutts nutts then why doesn't he step into the ring with somebody like Tyson Fury or even David Haye and we'll see how good he is!

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donkeyballs4000 February 08, 2013 11:26 pm

I'm not a fan either. Honestly, I'm not even that happy about these stories making it onto rugbdump at all. But perhaps he just likes to box. Obviously there'll be media attention but I wouldn't be surprised if he was doing it for the love of the sport and thrill of the competition.
He has already played at the top level in 2 different (albeit similar) sports, why shouldn't he be allowed to branch out and challenge himself in a new field?

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Jimothy February 08, 2013 8:12 pm

So basically this big bloke managed to keep going against wonder boy SBW and rather than risk him loosing in knockout they though "well he's ahead on points and no one really wants another two rounds so let's call it a day!"

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HeavyHooker February 09, 2013 1:30 am

I thought is was a site about RUGBY. SBW doesn't look like he doing much rugby. RD, SBW just isn't worth the ink when we have the 6 Nations on the go.

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HowardTheDuck February 09, 2013 2:45 am

The first fight I ever saw in my life was Botha/Tyson, and man was that a good one. Tyson was Tyson, but seeing Botha I thought "this dude is crazy and hard as nails. i like that."

I think SBW (though he's developing pretty well technically), came into this fight slightly underestimating what experience and a strong jaw that's taken punches for over 10 years can do. And he had never been brought to this length of a match before. So coming out like a rhino in the first rounds and then slouching in the end, (when professional boxers know it's the time to work on breath and conserving energy for the last assault) isn't gonna work. And one of these days he's gonna lose, hard, if he goes on that way.
Botha has to be a wake up call for him. Or else he can't go higher than this level (and even at this level if they put 12 rounds he's toast).

PS: If SBW could keep his cool (we all now he can sometimes be pretty cocky and feisty), I could see Botha (almost retiree) becoming somewhat of a mentor and consultant for him. He could teach him some tricks, how to get in your opponent's head (Botha was always good at that), and how in boxing there's never time for little acts of blatant sportsmanship or mild relaxation (check 1:26 to 1:31 and you'll understand what I'm talking about).

Cheers to all, Over and out.

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DrG February 10, 2013 9:11 pm

So, I see a 44 year old heavily overweight has been, fighting a finely tuned 27 year old professional rugby player who's sole purpose is to slug out a game for 80 odd minutes...

I just find these videos a little sad.. I mean I know nothing about boxing (and perhaps thats my downfall on this topic) but it just seems a little unevenly matched. (Even if Botha was hammering SBW at the end).

Sort of reminded me of the latest Rocky movie... Botha in his prime against SBW, and we'd see a real fight... or at least someone who is a similar physical standard.

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