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  Catching Up With The White Buffalo,
Francois Botha

By Jeff Emond Jeffrey

Many knows Francois Botha as former IBF heavyweight champion with his tremendous right hand, But everybody knows him as the White Buffalo from Witbank, South Africa . Now residing in Newport Beach, California, USA, Frans Botha agreed to grant us an interview and to talk about his career , his next fight , his book yet to be release and his quest to become Heavyweight champion again .

Jeff Emond Jeffrey: Good evening Mister Botha, How are you doing ?

Francois Botha: Very Good! Thank you!

JEJ: How did you start in boxing and who was your biggest influence to become a prizefighter?

FB: As a youngster at the age of 6 years old. I never thought I would become professional. At the age of 16 I had a terrible right arm injury and the doctors said that I could forget about boxing. My dad pushed me and said that only God makes a decision like this and I continued my career with basically my left hand as the right arm could not straighten all the way!

I went on to win all the championships as an amateur in South Africa with 378 victories and only 25 defeats. Even if my right hand got better as the time passed by in my pro career, my right arm continued to hurt me. If you look at my first 10 or 12 fights, there was not too many knockout wins. The whole story will be in my book when released.

JEJ: You had big wins over Mike Hunter, Ginger Tshabalala, James Stanton, Lee Gilbert, Steve Pannell, Joey Guy, David Bostice and 2 years ago Timo Hoffmann. What are you thoughts on your successful career?

FB: Those wins are very important to me, but it is not over , I will become champion again.

JEJ: You became the IBF Heavyweight champion in Germany against Axel Schulz a very good fighter, winning the title vacated by George Foreman. How do you feel about becoming champion?

FB: Axel Schulz is very talented and he is a great person. Believe me; he was innocent in the whole episode! It was a great feeling to become a champ. But I could not enjoy the victory and had to flown out in the same night as everywhere me, my family and my team were threatened by angry German fans. Due to the danger of riots or some other forms of violence we left Germany within hours. The German people didnít take well the fact I won over Axel.

JEJ: Soon after, you were being stripped of your title by the IBF because of positive steroids testing. What happened?

FB: I was not aware those were steroids. My right arm was hurting me at that time. So a doctor prescribed me something for it. Itís boxing politics! All the details will be revealed in my book and it will be a huge shocker.

JEJ: You held your own against Wladimir Klitschko, the number one heavyweight today. Your jabs and right hands were keeping him at bay in the early part of the fight. What happen during the second part of the fight?

FB: He never should have beat me! Even being a dead man walking he could not get me out for 8 rounds. He knocked me down but I beat the count and was ready to fight again. Bad stoppage, I was not hurt.

JEJ: What are your thoughts on the two draws with Shannon Briggs and The Black Rhyno Clifford Etiennes?

FB: Those are definitely hometown decisions. I won those fights.

JEJ: You only lost to Mike Tyson, Michael Moorer, Lennox Lewis, Wladimir Klitschko and Evander Holyfield. Any comments?

FB: I have no shame losing to those guys. All five of them are legends and have won many championships! No shame at all there faces the best in the business.

But on the other side, only one of them should have been a real defeat. In the Tyson fight, he tried to brake my arm and was not disqualified. In the Moorer and Klitschko fight, early stoppage again and most importantly, I beat myself in theses fights. The same things with Holyfield, I beat myself again. I only lost to Lennox Lewis and there is also circumstances prior to this fight which all of this will be explain in my book.

I want to be clear on something. I am proud to have been in the ring with theses legends. But it could have been differentÖIn the end they got the win.

JEJ: With such a good career in boxing, what made you jump to the mixed martial arts competition?

FB: Huge crowds of about 80 000 people and easy money. I never trained for theses fights. Except one, when I flew to Holland in 2004 and trained to fight Peter Aerts, a 3 time K-1 World Grand prix champion. I took him out in one round.

JEJ: Your next boxing match will be against The Demolition man, Flo Simba in South Africa. How will you fight him?

FB: I know I will take him in the deep waters and see if he can swim! If not, then Iím afraid he will drown!

JEJ: When will you release your book?

FB: When I beat George Foremanís record as the oldest heavyweight champion, the last chapter will be written

JEJ: Thanks you for your time Francois!

FB: No problem !


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