Francois Botha claims he was offered A$150,000 to throw boxing bout

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 February, 2013, 5:17am


Veteran South African boxer Francois Botha yesterday claimed he was offered A$150,000 (HK$1.2 million) 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 A$150,000 to throw the fight.

Then I was being walked [by Nasser], and during this walk, I was offered A$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, Vladimir Klitschko and Evander Holyfield in a 23-year career.

"He has got to come to terms with the reality that he got his a*** whipped by a guy who had had only five fights."

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' 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.