Catching Up With The White
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
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
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
JEJ: You only lost to Mike Tyson, Michael Moorer, Lennox
Lewis, Wladimir Klitschko and Evander Holyfield. Any
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 !