Sonny Bill Williams will face the biggest test of his boxing career when he faces South African Francois Botha in Brisbane tonight, while Quade Cooper makes his boxing debut on the undercard. We’ll have live updates from 8.30pm AEDT.
Tyson. Lewis. Klitschko.
Three of the greatest heavyweight champions in boxing history and 44-year-old Francois Botha, tonight the opponent of league-turned-rugby-turned-boxing star Sonny Bill Williams, has stood toe-to-toe with all three of them.
Nevermind that Botha lost all three, that over a decade has passed since the three fights took place, or the fact that Williams was five years old when Botha made his professional debut in 1990.
But there are plenty questioning why Sonny Bill, whose boxing record stands at 5-0 (3 KO), comes into the fight as favourite against a fighter who won his first 35 professional bouts, and still holds a 48-8-3 record.
Sonny Bill has spoken pre-fight about the “huge risk” that comes with fighting the South African and it seems he is aware that he could be walking into a hornet’s nest.
Despite reportedly possessing considerable boxing ability, Williams’ five-bout career has been a series of stunts and sideshows.
Tonight will get the chance to change that perception and earn himself a reputation as a genuine boxer.
Prior to the main event interest will be focussed on the professional boxing debut of Quade Cooper, who will fight 32-year-old journeyman Barry Dunnett.
These two bouts highlight the six-fight card, which begins on Main Event at 7.00pm AEDT. We’ll have live coverage of Williams vs Botha from 9.30pm AEDT.