Simba to face Botha in boxing supermatch

2011-04-05 13:45

Undefeated heavyweight prospect Flo Simba will face veteran boxer Francois Botha on June 4 in what the promoters are calling the biggest fight in South Africa since Hasim Rahman knocked out Lennox Lewis 10 years ago.

Botha, who has fought the likes of Lewis, Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, is expected to give 21-year-old Simba the toughest fight of his career.

“People have been asking for Flo to step up,” Simba’s manager, Brian Mitchell, said after Golden Gloves announced the bill today.

“This is a bit bigger than I would have liked, but he can look after himself.

“I expect him to make a real statement against the White Buffalo [Botha] who has been in with the best.”

Simba, who boasts nine knockouts in 10 professional bouts, said he was ready to take the next step in his fledgling career.

“I know it’s time for me to step up to another level,” Simba said.

“Fransie is an experienced fighter but I’ve got the trainer and the team behind me to win this fight. It’s up to me to take the next step.”

Botha, 42, admitted he had everything to lose and sent a warning to the youngster that he was still fit and in fighting shape.

“Flo has everything to gain,” Botha said.

“If I beat him everyone is going to say he lost to a better fighter.

“His nickname is Demolition, and there is going to be a demolition in the ring, but it’s not going to come from him, it’s going to come from me.”

On the same bill, which will be held at Emperors Palace, Thomas Oosthuizen will defend his IBO super-middleweight title for the first time when he goes up against another veteran fighter in William Gare.

Oosthuizen and 35-year-old Gare were locked in a battle of words at the announcement of the bill.

“I respect Gare because he’s been in the game for a while, but on the fourth of June I will have no respect for him,” Oostuizen said.

“He wants something I have and I will do everything I can to prevent that.”

Gare launched a scathing attack in response.

“I don’t respect him at all. He’s made a big mistake choosing me,” Gare said.

“I’ve never seen Tommy fight someone I can call a serious opponent. He’s in for a serious fight. I’m not playing.”

In the other bouts on the bill, Chris van Heerden will face Bongani Mvelase in an IBO welterweight eliminator and South African light-heavyweight champion Johnny Muller will defend his title against Mohale Sepeng.

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