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Botha: I'll Give Sonny Bill Williams a Rude Awakening

Sonny Bill Williams hopes to prove his boxing nous in Brisbane on November 24 against an opponent who is more known for being knocked out by some of the sport's greats.

Much maligned after claiming New Zealand's heavyweight title in just his fifth fight, Williams believes he can show his boxing mettle by taking on 44-year-old South African veteran Francois Botha, dubbed the "White Buffalo".

Since starting his pro career way back in 1990, Botha has claimed 48 wins from 60 fights with eight losses and three draws.

He is a former IBF champion.

Botha has stepped in the ring with some of the heavyweight division's biggest names - and unfortunately been knocked out by them.

The likes of Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, Wladimir Klitschko, Evander Holyfield, Michael Grant and Michael Moorer have all sent the US-based Botha to the canvas.

Botha was also stripped of the IBF heavyweight crown in 1995 when he tested positive for steroids following a win over Axel Schulz in Germany.

But the undefeated Williams was bracing for a step up in class after beating un-fit American Clarence Tillman III in February with a first round TKO to claim the NZ heavyweight belt in Hamilton.

"It's a bit of a daunting prospect but I believe it's a step in the right direction for my boxing," Williams told The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.

"A lot of people will be saying I've bit off more than I can chew this time but I will be looking to do what I've done last fight."

Botha initially looked set to fight Williams in Durban on November 17 after being quick to call the World Cup-winning All Black out following his win over Tillman.

Botha had claimed their fight could take place "somewhere during halftime of a rugby match" because it would end so quickly and that he could win with "one hand tied behind his back".

"He's going to have a rude awakening but it will make him a better fighter in the future," Botha told reporters last week.

"Sonny Bill Williams might be a good rugby player but I don't see him as a good boxer.

"He doesn't belong in the boxing ring. He should go play rugby.

"He's just starting out his career. He's taking a big step up. It's a big risk."

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Capaedia on 10-23-2012

[QUOTE=Garcia's Dad;12632120]What's the deal with SBW and boxing? He's a super talented rugby player, and boxing is not a sport you mess around in.[/QUOTE] He sort of had a cult of personality over here, inflated his ego a little too…

Comment by Porter's Dad on 10-23-2012

What's the deal with SBW and boxing? He's a super talented rugby player, and boxing is not a sport you mess around in.

Comment by joe strong on 10-23-2012

[QUOTE=richardt;12630699]The only rude awakening is the shock that a promotor would actually promote a washed up, useless Botha and stage his fights. That is one desperate promoter and management.[/QUOTE]watch his fight with michael grant last november at 43. solid fight…

Comment by Skyhook on 10-23-2012

I can see Sonny Bill getting a big reality check here.

Comment by JJC on 10-23-2012

I covered Sonny Bill Williams' last fight here in New Zealand for the NZPBA heavyweight title. Despite Botha being washed up and out of shape, it's a massive step up for SBW and I'm a little concerned he's going to…

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