Ageing “Buffalo” Botha Upsets Young Upstart Flo Simba; Francois Wants Return With Holyfield

By James Slater: South Africa’s Francois Botha, now aged 42 and having failed to win a fight for some time, was considered an experienced but relatively safe step up for unbeaten young Flo Simba. But, in an upset, the 21-year-old who also hails from South Africa lost his perfect record last night in his homeland, as he was stopped in the 6th-round by “The White Buffalo.”

Simba, a prospect being highly touted by some good judges, was doing well in the fight before Botha unleashed some bombs in the 6th, forcing the ref to save the youngster. With the TKO win Botha improved to 48-5-3(29) and he won for the first time since his May 2009 points win over Timo Hoffman. Simba, who can come again, is now 10-1(9).

Botha came in at a hefty 262-pounds (the second highest weight of his career) and he was appearing to tire in the 5th-round. Out-weighing Simba by almost 50-pounds perhaps took its toll on the prospect, however, and Botha’s heavy hands got him the win. Last time out, back in April of last year, Botha lost to fellow veteran Evander Holyfield.

It was a few months after that loss that Botha had his name put forth as a test for unbeaten U.K big man Tyson Fury. The BBB of C deemed Botha unfit for that fight, however, and he remained idle until last night. Maybe, in light of how he stopped Simba, Botha should have been allowed to test Fury after all? In any case, the former world title challenger who has been in with the likes of Lennox Lewis, Wladimir Klitschko and Mike Tyson will continue to fight. According to an interview Botha gave with after last night’s win, the man he is targeting is Holyfield.

As fans may recall, Botha was ahead on two of the cards at the time of his 8th-round TKO loss to “The Real Deal,” and now he wants a rematch.

“I am negotiating with the WBF for a rematch with Evander, and for fights in Brazil, the Bahamas and Japan,” Botha said. “What people don’t know is I get better as my fights progress.”

It seems, then, as though Botha will not retire any time soon, and that if he can’t get that second fight with Holyfield he will take his show on the road. Botha isn’t the only man asking for a return with Holyfield, as Sherman Williams (who was ahead on all cards against Evander before a clash of heads ended the January fight) is also staking his claim for one.

And though there will not exactly be a long line of fans asking for a Holyfield-Botha II anymore than there will be demand for a Holyfield-Williams II, these old guys are unwilling to walk away. And Botha does deserve credit for the manner in which he overcame a man half his age - and an unbeaten fighter at that.

Botha clearly has some pop left in his punches; even after over twenty years spent in the sport.

Article posted on 06.06.2011

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