White Buffalo floored Simba for mere R50K

2011-08-06 19:14

Francois Botha, a man who once commanded more than a million-dollar purse earned ­­R50 000 in his last battle because he is rebuilding himself.

Botha was paid a pittance in his heavyweight 10-rounder against Flo “Black Panther” Simba at Emperors Palace on ­­ June 4.

The former International Boxing Federation (IBF) heavyweight champion said he accepted the money because he was rebuilding himself.

Before facing Simba, Botha was out of action for more than a year and certainly out of the limelight.

The man popularly known as the White Buffalo last fought on April 10 2010 in Las Vegas against the legendary Evander Holyfield.

Botha surrendered in round eight of their then vacant World Boxing Federation heavyweight clash.

He disputed rumours that he was broke, arguing that he was unashamed of ­re-establishing himself.

“Just like the great (middleweight) James Toney who went on to win world titles, I am starting all over again,” said Botha.

“I took the R50 000 as I am sacrificing for ultimate treasure – watch me in future.”

A prominent fight personality who opted for anonymity said Botha made the Emperors Palace show with his stature and should have earned a fortune.

“Though declining, Botha fought the best heavyweights in the world and should have been paid between R300 000 and
R500 000,” said the personality.

Golden Gloves Promotions’ boss Rodney Berman, who staged the Botha-Simba clash, declined to comment.

Botha has fought distinguished fighters such as Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, Holyfield, Michael Moorer and Wladimir Klitschko.

He said the highest purse he earned was when he faced Mike Tyson, the youngest world heavyweight in history in Las Vegas on January 16 1999.

“I was paid $3 million (about R20.2 million) to take a hammering against Tyson,” laughed Botha.

He also revealed that when he was paid $1.6 million in his battle against Lewis and $2 million against Moorer.

“How could I be broke after earning such a fortune?” asked Botha.

“I have kept my treasure at Fidelity Investments in California”.

Botha came to the limelight on September 12 1995 when he won the vacant IBF crown against Axel Schulz on points in Germany.

He later tested positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone, which he and his camp claimed had been prescribed by a doctor for an injury. He was then changed to a “no contest” and Botha was stripped of the title.

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