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Presidents Column  |  June 2011

Posted on June 8 2011                                              Bookmark and Share
By WBF President Howard Goldberg  



One of my good friends is a man by the name of Francois “White Buffalo” Botha. A huge man with a big heart and former WBF world champion, Francois has been in with the best.  Personally I have been in many adventures with Botha and enjoyed each and every one of them.

One can rattle off Botha’s former opponents like Tyson, Moorer, Holyfield, Lewis and Klitschko to mention but a few. So when Rodney Berman, one of the top promoters worldwide, decided on his outstanding undefeated 20-year old heavyweight sensation Flo Simba fighting Botha, I warned Rodney about the danger of Flo fighting a man with a great deal of experience. 

Simba, unbeaten before his fight against the 42-year-old Botha, is indeed an incredible talent, possibly a future world champion. But the night against the tough, cagey and ringwise Botha was simply not Simba’s night, and in a hard encounter with both fighters showing class, Botha emerged victorious courtesy of a sixth round knockout.

One can never take away or underestimate experience and fight savvy. Botha for certain has exactly that. Add to that fact Botha remains as charismatic as ever, and while the reflexes might not be what they were a decade ago, his right hand remains a deadly weapon. Botha, as always, showed true diginity after the fight praising Simba as a future superstar and that the loss was not a serious setback but possibly a learning experience that would keep Simba in good stead for future fights to come.

I spoke to Francois on the phone the day after the fight and asked him about Simba and whether he was at all hurt in the fight. Expecting an “Are you crazy?” kind of answer, Botha surprised by saying that Simba had hit him with a big right on the ear, which had upset his balance and that Simba could certainly punch.

Again, experience is a major advantage, but an advantage until what age? When does age supersede experience? A rematch between the age defying 48-year-old Evander Holyfield versus a motivated and properly trained 42-year-old Francois Botha? Could a rematch actually occur? What would the result be? Interesting questions watched carefully by a future star in the making – Flo Simba!

Until next time, keep boxing.

Howard Goldberg

PRESIDENT: World Boxing Federation


  Presidents Column May 2011
  Presidents Column April 2011
  Presidents Column March 2011
  Presidents Column February 2011
  Presidents Column January 2011
  Presidents Column December 2010
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  Presidents Column June 2010
  Presidents Column May 2010
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  Presidents Column January 2010
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