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Boxing | South Africa

Francois Botha © Gallo Images

Tricky Botha loses on points

Francois Botha’s experience was not enough to save him from a points defeat in Germany on Friday night.

The South African veteran lost on points to Francesco Pieneta in a ten-round heavyweight bout in Mülheim an der Ruhr.

Pianeta, a 27-year-old Italian, beat the 43-year-old “White Buffalo” 99-92, 100-96 and 97-93, handing Botha his ninth defeat.

Botha, probably in the worst shape of his long career, weighed in at 125 kg. However, he managed to go the distance and was not knocked down once.

Pianeta improved his record to 27-0-1, including 14 knockouts. Botha’s now stands at 48-8-3, with 29 short-cut wins.

Pianeta’s inability to capitalise on Botha’s unfitness and lack of speed, was confirmed by the referee’s score. He had six rounds even.

Botha said before the bout he would “pulverise the green kid” but he never looked like keeping his promise.

Pianeta made his professional debut in July 2005 and won the vacant European Union heavyweight title in August 2008 when he stopped Scott Gammar in eight rounds.

He has drawn with Albert Sosnowski and beaten Matt Skelton, whom he stopped in the eighth, to show he can stand up to well-known fighters. In May this year, he also beat 47-year-old former WBC heavyweight champion Oliver McCall.

But Botha has fought some of the best heavyweights of his time, including Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, Wladimir Klitschko and Michael Moorer.

He held the IBF heavyweight title after beating Axel Schulz of Germany in 1995 and knows more tricks of the trade than most. He certainly taught Pianeta a few of those.


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