Tyson Fury To Face Francois Botha Next Month At Wembley

By James Slater - Promoter Mick Hennessey has a big card set for Wembley Arena in London on Feb. 19th, with Lenny Daws defending his British light-welterweight title against Ashley Theopane and John O’Donnell and Craig Watson fighting in a rematch for the vacant British welterweight title. However, the fight that may wind up grabbing most of the attention next month is the ten-round “special attraction” fight that will take place up at heavyweight.

Unbeaten Tyson Fury will face his most experienced and well known opponent to date, as he will clash with South Africa’s Francois Botha. According to British and The Telegraph, the Emanuel Steward-trained hope will rumble with the man who has been in with the likes of Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson, Michael Moorer and Wladimir Klitschko..

An interesting fight, even if the 42-year-old “White Buffalo” has seen better days, Fury-Botha could also be an exciting fight. Fury believes he is a future world champion; trainer Steward believes he has found the next dominant heavyweight ruler. If this is the case the 22-year-old will take care of Botha. But can the 6’9” prospect with the 13-0(9) pro record get Botha out of there with a stoppage?

Lat time out, Fury, like so many other fighters, had to settle for a points win over the ultra-tough Zack Page; winning a wide eight-round decision. And in his fight before that, against the then unbeaten Rich Power, Fury also had to go the full route to get the win. Big Tyson may feel the urge to impress by way of a KO on the big bill at Wembley. Perhaps not the big puncher people thought he was in the first few fights of his heavily hyped pro career, Fury has been guilty of arm punching at times. And Botha remains a durable enough fighter.

Okay, Botha was halted in his last fight, when another ageing heavyweight name stopped him in the 8th-round, but Botha was ahead on two of the three cards at the time of his being TKO’d by Evander Holyfield. Botha, 47-5-3(28) can still fight a bit, that’s for sure.

A lot will maybe depend on what kind of shape Botha comes in at for the Fury bout. Sure to be rusty after having had ten months out (Botha’s last fight before the clash with “The Real Deal” took place in Oct. 2009), the 42-year-old’s weight could also prove significant. Looking in decent shape at 250-pounds for the Holyfield fight, it is to be hoped Botha turns up in similar condition next month; if not in even better shape if that’s possible.

Botha hasn’t stopped a guy since way back in 2001, and he doesn’t figure to test Fury’s chin. Fury, though, might not be able to stop Botha - he certainly doesn’t look capable of blasting him out quickly. Call me crazy if you want, but I can see this one going the full ten-rounds. Will Fury’s stamina keep him in good stead, and will he win most, if not all of the rounds? Or will the stubborn old warhorse (or Buffalo), make Fury work hard and in so doing have him breathing hard and feeling it?

Fury will win, and I think it will be on points. If he CAN bag himself a quick stoppage, though, Fury will have made at least something of a statement.

Article posted on 22.01.2011

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