Frans Botha vs Sonny Bill Williams Preview Feb. 8
South African veteran Frans Botha will be heading Down Under this week to take on Sonny Bill Williams of New Zealand in a 12-round heavyweight clash in Brisbane Australia on Feb. 8. Yes, this is the same Botha, known as the White Buffalo, who has take on the likes of heavyweight champions Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Wladimir Klitschko, Michael Moorer, and Lennox Lewis. He didn’t beat any of them however. In fact, they all knocked him out.
But in Williams, the 44-year-old Botha will be facing a 27-year-old former All-Black rugby player who has just five pro fights to his name. Many boxing fans are viewing this as nothing much more than a novelty bout, but you can bet as soon as the bell rings to start the action Botha and Williams will be dead serious. Williams had his first pro bout in 2009 and he’s built up a 5-0 record since then with three knockouts. All of his fights have taken place in Australia against no-name opponents.
Botha turned pro way back in 1990 and has built up a record of 48-8-3 with 29 Kos. He’s been knocked out in seven of his eight losses, as mentioned to the former world champs, and he’s also lost his last three fights and four out of the last five. American giant Michael Grant also knocked him out in the 12th and final round back in November of 2011 for the WBF Heavyweight Title. His last bout was a 10-round unanimous decision to Francesco Pianeta last September.
Williams, being a professional rugby player, is pretty tough and in great shape. He stands 6-foot-3, which is an inch taller than Botha, but the question that remains to be seen is, can he box? So far he’s done a decent job of it, but he’s never really faced a good pro and has never gone more than six rounds. While Botha is a huge step up in class for him, he’s got a 14-year age advantage on him.
Botha has been doing some trash talking to promote this as a legitimate bout and it’s actually for the WBA’s vacant International Heavyweight Championship. He’s been saying that Williams should stick to rugby and that his son could kick Williams ass, and he’s not even a pro boxer. Williams said he wants to take on an experienced pro though to find out just how good he is at boxing and if he should continue with his career, which is fair enough. Either way, it looks like Williams, a former World cup winner with New Zealand, will be returning to rugby as he’s signed with the Sydney Roosters of the NRL.
Botha’s never been able to beat an elite boxer, but has never had too many problems with Grade B fighters. We can’t even consider Williams to be at that level as he’s basically just getting his feet wet in the sport. If Botha was younger and in his prime this would be no contest. But considering his age and penchant for getting knocked out, Williams has a legitimate shot. The New Zealander will likely have to knock him out to win it though, and while he’ll give it a good try, I’d be surprised if he achieved it. As long as Botha has trained seriously for this contest he should win it, likely by a decision or late stoppage.
Sportsbook 5dimes.eu has the latest odds of a Botha win at -125 with a Williams victory at -115. Visit 5Dimes.eu to see up to date odds and to bet on this fight. You should also check out our recent boxing betting predictions to see how we’ve done of late capping the fights.