By James Goyder
Two veteran heavyweights will headline the second installment of Thursday Night Fights in the United Arab Emirates when Danny Williams and Francois Botha meet on May 1st. It is a matchup which was supposed to take place in Egypt six years ago only for the Englishman to get knocked out in a tune up bout.
Williams (45-21) is best known for his 2004 KO of Mike Tyson but has struggled in recent years with just one win in his last 11 fights. Botha (48-11) will also be looking to turn around a six fight losing streak and recapture the form which once made him one of the biggest names in the heavyweight division.
Botha’s greatest achievement was winning the WBF heavyweight title, he was stripped of his IBF belt due to a failed drug test but the 45 year old has shared a ring with the likes of Lennox Lewis, Wladimir Klitschko and Evander Holyfield as well as Tyson in his 17 year career.
Williams is five years the junior of the South African and will have fond memories of Dubai having registered his most recent win there last December. The bout is set for ten rounds and will have the WPBF Inter-Continental heavyweight title on the line.
Also on the card, which is set for the Emirate Golf Club in Dubai, is a welterweight bout between French fighter Nordine Arik (11-2) and Brazilian Antonio Mesquita (35-3). The former will be putting his six fight winning streak on the line against an opponent who has previously held the Brazilian 140 lbs title and WBO Latino 140 lbs strap.