Sonny Bill vs The Buffalo: Too much too soon?
Some boxing insiders are scratching their heads at Sonny Bill’s next opponent, Francois ‘The White Buffalo’ Botha.
Sir Bob Jones, who is no fan of Sonny Bill’s boxing talents, finds the decision odd. Not because of Botha’s age but because of Botha’s vast experience, toughness and punching power.
Sir Bob is predicting Sonny Bill to struggle against Botha if it’s an honest fight. Botha is past his prime but he still has the goods to knock Sonny Bill into next week.
Sir Bob knows that Sonny Bill is making a massive step up in class and taking a huge risk when he goes toe to toe with Botha.
And this is why Sir Bob has his doubts about the fight.
Why would Khoder Nasser let Sonny Bill in the ring with Botha?
The progression of Sonny Bill so far has been a familiar road taken by most boxers whose management believe can fight for a world title in the future.
Sonny Bill’s last fight against Clarence Tillman, although mocked by many, was still a step up in class for Sonny Bill who is still in the very early stages of his career. The fight now against Botha just doesn’t make sense.
Even Botha, speaking on South African radio, says that Sonny Bill is not ready for his level just yet. Botha compared Sonny Bill to Flo Simba, who Botha knocked out last year.
Flo Simba was a good heavyweight prospect who rattled off nine KO’s and an UD in his first 10 fights.
The step up in class was too much for the young fighter and Botha knocked him out in the sixth round. Flo went on to lose three (all by KO) of his next four fights, all against fighters he was expected to beat.
Flo has now hung up his gloves indefinitely to concentrate on his studies.
So far in Japan, Sonny Bill hasn’t been doing much sparring. He’s just been getting his boxing conditioning sorted and is expected to begin the serious sparring when he returns to Australia next week to prepare for the fight on Nov 24.
Sonny Bill has said in a radio interview about the fight that the prospect of stepping in the ring with Botha is daunting and that he has nothing but respect for Botha and his achievements in the ring.
Sonny Bill also accepted that he was taking a huge risk against Botha but feels that taking risks always brings the best out of him.
I wonder how Sonny Bill is feeling about the risk now because since that interview was done, Tony Mundine has quit as Sonny Bill’s trainer because of the fallout between his son Anthony and Nasser.
Tony Mundine has said that he can’t be involved and is moving on. He wished Sonny Bill all the best but said that he had to back his son.
Anthony Mundine has said that he has no issue with Sonny Bill continuing his association with Nasser.
“We’re brothers, man,” Mundine said. “We’ll always be there for each other. Sometimes it’s hard in situations like this, My dad has done what any father would do for his son, as for Khoder, I don’t want to go there. I lost my trust in him.”
So now just under a month before the biggest fight of Sonny Bill’s career, he’s lost his trainer. Word is Jeff Fenech may be interested but regardless of who trains Sonny Bill, the whole Mundine-Nasser fallout would be a huge distraction.
Yesterday David Lord wrote about how talented Sonny Bill was, however I believe he left out one of the traits that Sonny Bill has that makes him special: courage. Taking on Botha this early in his career is almost insane.
Actually, it is insane.
I’m a Sonny Bill supporter and I know that he’s got the talent to do very well in boxing eventually, but not next month.
If he beats Botha, I believe given his background story, this would be Sonny Bill’s greatest sporting achievement to date.
Come November 24 we’ll all find out.