ANBF Denies Corruption Claim in Williams vs. Botha Bout

Australian National Boxing Federation's John Hogg says the decision to cut short Sonny Bill Williams' WBA fight was made before the bout started.

Australian National Boxing Federation (ANBF) committee member John Hogg has rubbished claims the decision to cut short Sonny Bill Williams' controversial bout was made after the fight started.

However, the legitimacy of what was purported to be a WBA international heavyweight fight between Williams and South African veteran Francois Botha remains unclear.

Williams defeated Botha in a unanimous points decision on Friday night in Brisbane, but the former All Black copped a battering in the final round.

The fight, which was advertised and scheduled for 12 rounds as per WBA rules, was stopped after 10, drawing an angry reaction from Botha and jeers from the crowd.

Hogg says a last-minute decision to shelve the final two rounds was "unusual" but that it had been ticked off by officials after both camps agreed shortly before the fight started.

"Any suggestion that there was any decision made during the fight is just nonsense," Hogg told Fox Sports on Saturday.

"Any claim that it was cut back to 10 during the fight to save Sonny Bill is just nonsense, we wouldn't be party to that.

"Both parties told us it was cut back to 10 rounds, we had no time to try and check with the WBA to see if they were aware of what was happening.

"It wasn't for us to stand up and say `we don't agree, you need to fight 12'.

"It was a bit puzzling as to why it had been cut back to 10, but obviously both corners were in agreement."

It's understood Botha's management bizarrely failed to tell the 44-year-old it had been cut to 10 rounds.

Hogg's comments are in stark contrast to The Australian newspaper's report that ANBF vice-president Alan Moore, a ringside judge for the bout, had no idea it had been shortened to 10 rounds.

"When the ring announcer said over the loud speaker that it was the last round, that was the first we (judges) knew of any change," Moore was quoted as saying.

"Any international title fight is meant to be fought over 12 three-minute rounds. I have no idea what happened."

Hogg said the WBA did not have a representative at the bout.

"Normally these overseas bodies send someone locally there to be the supervisors for their title fight.

"...What agreement, whether the fight was formally sanctioned by the WBA, you'd have to ask the WBA or the promoter. We don't get involved in the sanctioning."

It means the legitimacy of Williams' WBA belt is being questioned.

Botha is expected to lodge a protest with the WBA.

NZ TAB head bookmaker Mark Stafford said his agency was stung by the fact the fight was cut to 10 rounds.

Stafford was unimpressed, saying it was the third time the TAB had been caught out by a Williams fight which didn't go the full distance.

Twice before, Williams had scheduled eight-round fights but they had stopped at six.

New Zealand heavyweight champion Williams, 27, pronounced himself satisfied with his sixth win from six professional fights but wouldn't be pressed on his future in boxing.

He now laces up his rugby league boots for an NRL campaign with the Sydney Roosters.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Ray* on 02-10-2013

Shady as hell, they claimed this was done in secret, Botha manager now claimed he knew but didn't tell his own client, the judges had no idea and there was no WBA official there neither, the guy was out of…

Comment by ROSS CALIFORNIA on 02-10-2013

Does sound shady to me.

Comment by aussie-brawler on 02-10-2013

I would love to get this liar to undergo the same questions hooked up to a lie detector.

Comment by Reloaded on 02-09-2013

They got to protect Sonny Bill because he is useless boxer and they are trying to cash in with football fans , the fight was rigged .

Comment by Hougigo on 02-09-2013

WTF, so it wasn't the first time his rounds changed mid-fight? Come on now

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (6)
Top Headlines Povetkin's Manager: Drug Tests in Order, No Worries For Price Alberto Melian Drills Countryman Julian Aristule in Two Rounds Felix Verdejo's Trainer Expects His Fighter To Return Stronger Michael Dutchover Continues Winning Run at Doubletree Joshua vs. Parker - Giuseppe Quartarone Confirmed as Referee Sadam Ali vs. Liam Smith Finalized For May 12, Turning Stone Anthony Crolla vs. Edson Ramirez Set For Joshua-Parker Card Photos: Whyte, Bowne - Get Very Heated on 'Gloves Are Off' News: Sven Fornling, Brian Ceballo, Nikolai Potapov, More Daniel Jacobs vs. Maciej Sulecki - Undercard Information Arthur Abraham: I'm Not Ready To Retire, I Want World Title Again Joseph Parker: I'm Going To Come in Light and Fast vs. Joshua Gvozdyk: Stevenson is 40 & Inactive; Not Sure He'll Beat Jack Liam Smith: Canelo Ruined Legacy, Look How His Body Changed! Weekend Review: Jose Ramirez Rises, Felix Verdejo Crumbles Zou Shiming: I Don't Have The Courage To Retire at The Moment Lucas Browne Maintains Innocence in Drug Testing Beefs Floyd Mayweather Says He Will Apply For MMA License Horn's Coach: Crawford Will Be in For a Big Shock in First Round! Berchelt To Make Another Voluntary Defense, Then Roman Gennady Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez: Positive or Negative? WBC Prez: I'm Not Protecting Canelo, But We Have To Be Fair! Arum Says ESPN Momentum Building, Big Plans Ahead in 2018 Danny O'Connor Gets Off The Floor, Decisions Steve Claggett Felix Verdejo Very Angry With Decision To Stop The Fight Video: Crawford's Coach Shreds Horn - Warns Spence, Thurman Kyril Relikh vs. Eduard Troyanovsky Showdown is Ordered Danny Roman vs. Moises Flores Must Happen By June, Says WBA Arum Wants Ramirez, Prograis to Take Interim Fights on Same Card Michael Conlan Hopes To Fight in Belfast on June Date Kovalev-Marcus Browne Deal Done for HBO Bout; Date Not Set Arum: Felix Verdejo Very Disappointing; It's a Lack of Discipline Felix Valera, Luis Lebron Grab Knockout Wins in Santo Domingo Sam Soliman, Wes Capper Fight To a Twelve Round Draw Ryuya Yamanaka Retains WBO Strap, Canizales Wins WBA Belt Photos: Gvozdyk Earns WBC Shot, Michael Conlan Excites Crowd Joe Joyce-Dereck Chisora Likely To Be Confirmed For Bellew-Haye Photos: Jose Ramirez Breaks Down Amir Imam For WBC Belt Roach: Linares Has Fight Left in Him; Might Be Too Old for Loma Photos: Antonio Lozada Drills, Stops Felix Verdejo in Shocker

Latest Active Forum Threads