Francois Botha To Defend WBF Heavyweight Belt Against Willi Fischer In Germany

by James Slater - Old fan favourite Francois Botha, "The White Buffalo" from South Africa, seems to have been around for ages now. First making a name for himself by out-pointing German hero Axel Schulz in a 1995 IBF title fight that was later changed to a No-Contest due to Botha testing positive for illegal substances, the South African slugger went on to battle Michael Moorer, Mike Tyson, Shannon Briggs, Lennox Lewis and, most recently, Wladimir Klitschko..

Now, some seven-and-a-half years on from his 8th-round TKO loss at the hands of "Dr. Steel Hammer," a 41-year-old Botha is still fighting. In fact, since the WBO title fight loss to Klitschko, Botha has gone unbeaten in four fights, winning three and drawing one. Botha drew with Clifford "The Black Rhino" Etienne in July of 2002, then took a five year layoff, before coming back to pound out decision wins over Bob Mirovic and Ron Guerrero in his homeland, and then Timo Hoffmann in Hoffmann's home country of Germany.

Now, five months after the win over the huge Hoffmann, Botha is again set to fight in Germany; against the also huge Willi Fischer. Botha, currently 47-4-2(28) picked up the lightly regarded WBF heavyweight strap in his win over Guerrero, and he will now attempt to defend it against the 250-pound Fischer, nicknamed "De Ox."

Despite his age and overall inactivity, the colourful Botha is a fighter who seems to have kept the fans at least somewhat interested in his ring exploits. Never in a dull fight, win, lose or draw, the 41-year-old veteran of 54 pro bouts will meet Fischer on October 24th. The fight could well be an interesting and eventful one.

37-year-old Fischer, 37-6-1(24), is, like Hoffman and Schulz before him, a German boxing hero. Having fought almost his entire career in his home country, Fischer has stacked up his share of KO's. The big man's only stoppage loss came in the U.K, back in September of 1998, and the 2nd-round TKO came at the hands of Herbie Hide, in a WBO heavyweight title fight. This loss, to the small and now cruiserweight-campaigning Hide may suggest a suspect chin, but since that loss Fischer has shown his durability. Non-KO losses to the aforementioned Hoffmann - and to other German contenders, in Rene Monse and Andreas Sidon aside - Fischer has kept a clean slate.

Winner of his last six (but only one fight this year), the 37-year-old is a good test and a good opponent for Botha. It's not clear how ambitious either fighter is today with regards to fighting for legit titles, but a good, honest battle will likely take place next month. Botha weighed a decent 252 in his fight with Hoffmann, which was a far better weight for him than the 268 he tipped in at for his fight before that. And Fischer was in pretty good shape last time out at 250.

Botha seems to have retained a reliable chin, and Fischer has been stopped just that one time. Scheduled for 12-rounds, the October fight looks a good bet to go to the limit. Look for "The White Buffalo" to go home with what will be his fourth points victory in a row.

Article posted on 01.10.2009

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