Monte Casino, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa - Francois Botha was seconds away from winning the fringe WBF heavyweight title when Michael Grant knocked him out on Saturday night. The South African was ahead on points when a huge right by the American sent him crashing to the canvas in the final round of their fight. Botha, who stunned Grant in rounds seven and eleven, stayed down for a while before his helpers got him back to his feet. The official time of the knockout was 2 minutes 23 seconds into the twelfth round.
Botha, nicknamed the White Buffalo, was in the best shape of his career and he outscored the much taller Grant in a rather boring affair before dropping his guard at a crucial stage. Grant, 39, improved his record to 48-4, with 36 knockouts. The 43-year-old Botha dropped to 48-6-3, with one no-contest and 28 knockouts.
On the undercard, Ali Funeka beat fellow South African Zolani Morali on a split decision. Funeka, 33 years old and a former SA junior lightweight champion, improved his record to 31-3-3, with 25 wins. Marali, 34, is a former IBO junior featherweight and junior lightweight champion.
Junior lightweight Malcolm Klassen beat Daniel Lomeli of Mexico on points over twelve rounds. Klassen, in his first fight since 2009, improved his professional record to 25-5-2, with 14 knockouts. Lomeli dropped to 21-2, 11 KOs.