Botha chases unique heavyweight record

2011-10-15 15:06

A gigantic American – Michael Grant – stands like a fortress between the equally colossal Francois “White Buffalo” Botha and history.

So the local will need sophisticated ammunition to demolish Grant at Montecasino on November 19, and to become the first local to win three world heavyweight crowns.

The combatants meet in a Showpony Promotions event staged by Damian “Advent” Michael, a new kid on the block.

Only three South Africans, Botha, Gerrie Coetzee and Corrie Sanders became champions in the most coveted and ultimate division, heavyweight.

Botha wore the International Boxing Federation (IBF) and World Boxing Federation (WBF) belts when beating Axel Schulz in 1995 and Timo Hoffman in 2009. The South African tested positive for steroids shortly after the fight against Schulz and was stripped of the IBF title.

Botha surrendered the WBF crown against the legendary Evander Holyfield in last year.

Sanders initially snatched the least-regarded World Boxing Union crown against Alfred Cole in 2000.

The South African vacated it and went on to seize the World Boxing Organisation title against Wladimir Klitschko in 2003.

Sanders subsequently gave it up against Wladimir’s vanquished brother, Vitali, the following year.

Coetzee was the first fighter from Mzansi to win the desired diadem, causing a great upset in 1983 when he beat Michael Dokes for the World Boxing Association title.

Coetzee lost the crown in his first defence against classy Greg Page 15 months later.

Should Botha beat Grant, he will surpass compatriot and two-time champion Sanders, becoming a world kingpin for the third time.

To become the most distinguished local heavyweight, Botha (43) will need to be at his most fire-spitting when tackling Grant, who is four years his junior.

At his best, Grant, a veteran of 51 wars is unstoppable, and 47 wins (35 knockouts) and only four defeats attest to that.

Grant has faced the best around, including Lennox Lewis, Sanders, Andrew Golota, Ross Purity and Mike Dixon.
There will be four additional WBF title fights at Montecasino.

In the main supporting bout, Eastern Cape fighters – Ali Funeka and Zolani Marali meet for the junior welterweight title.

Whirlwind Malcolm Klassen tackles Mexican Rafael Guzma for the junior lightweight crown.

Congo’s Ilunga Makabu and Brazilian Pedro Otas entangle for the junior heavyweight diadem.

Lubabalo Msutu confronts Filipino Dennis Tubieron for the bantamweight title.

And Gerry Nekhubu and Mthobisi Buthelezi complete the bill in a WBF African welterweight title fight.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.