‘I was offered cash to throw SBW fight’
SPORT / 13 Feb '13, 07:58amBy: SAPA
Sydney - Veteran South African boxer Francois Botha on Wednesday claimed he was offered Aus$150 000 (US$155 000) to throw his fight against Sonny Bill Williams, sparking an angry denial from the New Zealander's manager.
Williams, a former World Cup-winning All Blacks rugby star, won the controversial heavyweight bout on points in Brisbane last Friday, which was marred by unsubstantiated reports that Botha failed a drugs test.
Sonny Bill Williams celebrates winning his fight against Francois Botha in their heavyweight bout at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on February 8. Credit: Getty Images
Botha, 44, alleges Williams's manager Khoder Nasser offered him the money in a Brisbane park three days before the World Boxing Association fight, claiming he received a phone call asking to pick him up alone.
“I wasn't told where I was going. As we stopped at a park, my cellphone was confiscated and was given to a guy in the car,” Botha told New Zealand's Radio LiveSport from Durban.
“Then I was being walked (by Nasser), and during this walk, I was offered Aus$150 000 to throw the fight.
“I just said 'no, I can't do it'.”
There is no suggestion that Williams was aware of the alleged offer.
Nasser slammed Botha as a bad loser after a fight that ended in 10 rounds, despite earlier promotions saying it was a 12-round contest.
“I think he (Botha) is still in a daze,” Nasser told Fairfax Media of a man who has fought Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson, Wladimir Klitschko and Evander Holyfield in a 23-year career.
“This is the same bloke who said he didn't know about the fight being 10 rounds, and then his promoter and he himself came out later and said it was 10 rounds.
“Then he said he wasn't drugs tested and then he said he was tested. Then he said he was tested by my brother, and now he has come up with this one. What is next?
“He has got to come to terms with the reality that he got his ass whipped by a guy who had had only five fights.
“It is all well and good to come out with all these allegations after, but where's his manhood? It's absolute madness.
“If it happened like he said, why didn't he come out and report it then - or does it suit him now?”
While Williams won the fight, he was on the receiving end of some heavy blows from Botha in the 10th round with the South African saying another two rounds would have been enough to secure him victory.
Bookmakers refunded bets on Williams's win due to the controversy over how long the fight was supposed to be.
Doubts have also been raised about whether the WBA actually sanctioned the bout, and if Williams' claim on the title is legitimate.
There was no WBA official present in Brisbane for the fight. - Sapa-AFP