Future bouts planned for Simba, Botha

2011-06-11 15:10

Not all hope is lost for heavyweight prospect Flo Simba, who was vanquished by an ageing Francois Botha at Emperors Palace eight days ago.

And a big pension purse awaits Botha.

This was disclosed by promoter Rodney Berman after the outcome of the much awaited ­ battle between the two played out like the script ­of a nightmare.

At 42 years of age, Botha the older, fading and fat former two-time world champion knocked out the 21-year-old Simba, who before the fight was widely regarded as a truly genuine future South African black heavyweight hope.

The battle was built up as an encounter between a “Black Panther” (Simba) and a “White Buffalo” (Botha) and Berman, who backed his fighter all the way before the fight, was still positive about his man despite his poor result.

“I am working on an extravaganza that will engage Simba and two compatriots against three British fighters at Emperors ­Palace on September 24,” said Berman.

“And I am also tying the loose ends for Botha to face the legendary Evander Holyfield at Emperors Palace on November 4.”

Berman said Simba had learnt more in his fight against Botha than he had learnt in all his previous 10 battles.

He said Golden Gloves Promotions had extended Simba’s contract for another four years.

“It is not the end of the world for Simba, considering that he faced a man who had a gross advantage of 20kg,” said Berman.

Had Simba beaten Botha, plans were afoot for the younger fighter to take on Holyfield but for now Berman is more concerned with getting Botha to meet Holyfield.

“The fight between Botha and Holyfield will be a big one as ­Holyfield is a distinguished name and the first five-time world heavyweight champion,” said Berman.

And since fighters of Holyfield’s ilk do not come cheap, a lucrative cheque could be in store for Botha, even though Berman was ­reluctant to discuss it.

When Simba’s name was ­announced by master of ­ceremonies Duncan Pollock at Emperors Palace the crowd exploded.

Simba, who was born in 1990, the year that Botha made his professional debut, had ingratiated himself with the fanatics but glory eluded him that night.

Before meeting Botha, Simba had knocked out nine of his 10 previous foes but on that night he was pathetically unrecognisable, especially in round six, when Botha cut loose with haymakers.

Simba suicidally tried to take Botha on in a give-and take shootout but found himself in deep water.

After all, Botha was a man who had met some of the most feared heavyweights of his generation – the likes of Mike Tyson, Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, Michael Moorer and Wladimir Klitschko.

Botha joined Berman’s camp from a rival camp after the fight.

The critics may have already started writing off Simba, shouting: “Give up,” but Berman has been encouragingly whispering: “Try it one more time, baby.”


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