Botha claims offered $155,000 to throw Williams bout
Veteran South African boxer Francois Botha 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.
Botha, 44, alleges Williams’ 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.