Bay like Durban for Botha

By Sam Hurley

Hawke's Bay pundits and boxing fans were treated to a rare meeting with Francois the "White Buffalo" Botha last night, as he shared stories of past fights and promoted his upcoming fight against Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker.

Botha spent the evening at Turks Bar in Havelock North confidently promoting his June 13 fight against Parker, believed to be the best New Zealand heavyweight since David Tua.

"I think he [Parker] is going to be nervous," he said. "I'm going to take him, I'm going to rough him up."

The 44-year-old said he wasn't worried about "baby Parker" and his 6'6 frame and long reach and said he would end the three-minute, eight round fight quickly.

"I fought guys like Lennox [Lewis] so 6'6 isn't a problem for me," he said about the 21-year old South Auckland boxer.

"I'm going to get him early, it's not going to be like SBW," he said referring to his February 8 defeat to former All Black Sonny Bill Williams after the fight went only 10 out of a publicised 12 rounds.

The South African heavyweight said he loved coming to New Zealand, particularly Hawke's Bay.

"Hawke's Bay is beautiful, I will go for a run tomorrow and work up a little bit of a sweat," he said. "It's like Durban where I go for my run along the beach every morning."

Having gone toe-to-toe with Tyson, Holyfield and Klitschko he said the combination of boxing and rugby was a great thing for both sports. He said he wanted to get around and promote what would be a "big show".

The 61-fight veteran has no plans to hang up the gloves anytime soon. "The people don't want to let me go."

He said his preparation for the upcoming bout had been good. He currently weighs in at around 116kg.

"Have you every seen a skinny buffalo," he joked.

Botha's son, Marcel Botha will make his boxing debut on the undercard.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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