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Johannesburg – Veteran pugilist Francois Botha has warned New Zealand's Sonny Bill Williams to spend more time on the rugby field and less in the boxing ring.
Botha squares up against Williams, an All Blacks rugby star and the New Zealand heavyweight title holder, in Brisbane, Australia, on February 8.
“Sonny Bill's a master of the offload but the difference is that he offloads balls whereas I offload punches,” Botha said on Tuesday.
Having faced the likes of Evander Holyfield, Wladimir Klitschko and Lennox Lewis in the past, the 44-year-old South African had lost nine kilogrammes in the past month, according to his promoters, as he prepared to ressurrect his career against Williams, a dual rugby league and union international.
“I'm not a rugby player but I love rugby, and once this bout is over, rugby fans will be relieved that Williams will not return to the ring,” Botha said.
“I know the All Blacks are very popular in South Africa and the fans would rather see him at his best on a rugby field.
“His rugby league skills have worked wonders for All Blacks rugby and I think he's wasted in a boxing ring. I'd rather enjoy seeing him display his silky skills against the Springboks, rather than try to box against a Buffalo.”
Botha, was excited about the prospect of more big pay days in the future, provided he is able to dispose of Williams.
“The WBA International title will be on the line, and once you wear that belt it could propel you into the big time,” he said.
“I've been there before but this time I'm far better prepared. I'm going to teach Sonny Bill a thing or two.” – Sapa