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Boxing | International

Botha 'offered money to lose fight'



Francois Botha claims he was offered 150 000 Australian dollars (more than R1.3 million) to throw his fight against Sonny Bill Williams.

The South African’s claims sparked an angry denial from the New Zealander's manager.

Williams, a former World Cup-winning All Blacks rugby international, won the heavyweight bout on points in Brisbane last Friday. The fight was marred by unsubstantiated reports that Botha failed a drugs test.

Botha, 44, alleged on Wednesday that Williams's manager, Khoder Nasser, offered him the money in a Brisbane park three days before the WBA fight. He claimed he received a phone call asking him to be picked up alone.

"I wasn't told where I was going. As we stopped at a park, my cellphone was confiscated and 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 after ten rounds, despite earlier promotions saying it was a 12-round contest.

"I think he (Botha) is still in a daze," Nasser told Fairfax Media. "This is the same bloke who said he didn't know about the fight being ten rounds, and then his promoter and he himself came out later and said it was ten rounds.

"Then he said he wasn't tested for drugs 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 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, 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?"

Williams was on the receiving end of some heavy blows in the tenth round and the South African said later another two rounds would have been enough for him to win.

Doubts remain about whether the WBA actually sanctioned the bout, and if Williams's claim on the title is legitimate.



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