Frans Botha, Monte Barrett: Two Veteran Heavies Still Fighting The Good Fight

By James Slater: Both in their forties, veteran heavyweight contenders and former world title challengers Frans Botha and Monte Barrett keep on fighting. “Two Gunz,” of New York actually won his last fight, a 12-round decision over the now-retired David Tua, and Monte will face another New Zealander in July, when he will swap punches with Shane Cameron, 28-2(21).

South Africa’s Botha, however, was beaten and TKO’d in his last ring adventure; by the much younger (aren’t most fighters younger than Botha today?) Carlos Takam in France. “The White Buffalo,” will face unbeaten Italian hope and former European Union champ, Francesco Pianeta, 25-0-1(14) in Germany on May 16th.

Both Barrett and Botha are still talking a great fight, too.

Barrett, in New Zealand for the official press conference, wrote and delivered a poem as he predicted he would KO Cameron, AKA “The Mountain Warrior.” Barrett, 35-9-2(20) spoke of Cameron’s brutal 2nd-round loss to Tua, saying that Cameron is getting “a shot to redeem himself,” and that he “better just be happy and thank me.”

Barrett also spoke of the possibility of facing New Zealand rugby player, turned pro boxer Sonny Bill Williams after he’s beaten Cameron. It seems “Two Gunz,” who seems to enjoy boxing in New Zealand, will continue making a decent living in the country. Against 34-year-old Cameron, who has boxed a number of his fights down at cruiserweight, Barrett should have enough experience and enough of a weight advantage to be able to pull out a win. But this one might go the distance.

Botha, though, looks headed for another loss. Today in Germany, the former top contender said “In my last fight I wasn’t really fit. I want to prove myself in Frankfurt. If I can’t win the fight, I’m going to think about quitting.”

Botha should indeed think long and hard about walking away. Loser of three of his last four (all losses coming via stoppage) and 48-7-3(29) overall, Botha will be facing a big (6’5” around 240-pound) southpaw in Pianeta and the 27-year-old looks a sure winner. Will Botha get stopped again seems to be the only question, and how quickly.

I can see Pianeta, a title prospect who his in need of stepping up his quality of opposition (wins over Matt Skelton, Scott Gammer and the then unbeaten Mike Marrone were quite a while ago now) banging Botha out in around eight-rounds or less.

The end cannot be far away; for Barrett or for Botha.

Article posted on 25.04.2012

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