Dry Gulch Down Under

By Ted Sares on February 8, 2013
Dry Gulch Down Under
“I love Sonny Bill. He's a great guy, a gentleman. But this is bullshit." (Jono Searle)

“The main event from Australia was advertised as a 12-round bout, and the TV people were sure it was set for 12, but after Williams was hurt in the ninth, the fight suddenly entered its announced final round in the 10th.”—Scott Christ (BLH)

“It was supposed to be 12 rounds”—Frans Botha

The fishy stench of farce is global in nature and last night it emanated from Australia. Flabby and fossilized 44-year-old Frans Botha (48-9-3) was fighting the ripped Union Rugby International star, 27-year-old Sonny Bill Williams (5-0) at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre in a scheduled 12-rounder that suddenly became an unscheduled 10-rounder when Sonny Bill became undone in the 9th round and then put on Australia’s version of Queer Street in the 10th stanza. At stake was something called the vacant WBA International heavyweight title.

The wobbling and badly hurt Williams barely survived the furious Botha who came on like a “White Buffalo” using one big right after another and clearly would have taken Sonny Bill out in the next round. Later, after being awarded the decision (which was roundly booed), Williams hinted that he might not box again.

Another strange move occurred when referee Tony Kettewell stopped the action with 30 seconds left and Williams out on his feet. It appears Williams was holding and a point was deducted. Of course, the pause in the action gave the rugby star time to clear his head as time ran out for Botha.

This was a case of an aging, albeit still cagey, boxer having enough left to reach a tough and celebrity crossover guy, who did, in all fairness, show a lot of game. More to the point, however, this was a case of two rounds disappearing from a fight when those two rounds would have spelled doom for the hometown hero.

“I love Sonny Bill,” said Botha, who was wildly cheered after the farce. “He’s a great guy, a gentleman. But this is bullshit.”

Frans deserved better.

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  1. the thresher 05:49pm, 02/09/2013

    Rax, it is bile inducing. This one really pissed me off and I intend to keep the fire burning on it as long as I can—which in boxing might mean a New York Minute…

  2. raxman 05:45pm, 02/09/2013

    you’re right ted, its the audacity that is the amazing part. i can’t get over how each outrageous incident is more outrageous than the next.  its like the script writers for professional wrestling are starting to get a foot hold in boxing

  3. the thresher 05:36pm, 02/09/2013


  4. the thresher 05:33pm, 02/09/2013

    From the Daily Mail:

    “The abbreviated fight was slammed by bookmaker TAB New Zealand, who refunded ‘pick the round’ bets on the fight.

    ‘We went to great pains to double check and triple check that it was 12 rounds because (in) a Sonny Bill fight this has happened before,’ TAB New Zealand bookmaker Mark Stafford, whose agency refunded ‘pick-the-round’ bets, told New Zealand radio on Saturday. ‘So we’re pretty annoyed about it.’

    “Stafford said his agency had taken bets on three of Williams’s six professional fights, with two of them shortened without anybody knowing.”

  5. the thresher 09:56am, 02/09/2013


    This thing is starting to piss me off big time. It is corruption in plain sight There promoters and/or whoever decided to change the rounds should be banned for life. An example needs to be made. This stuff has to stop. People need to make a raucous over it. They need to complain and let their complaints be heard and known. We complain about corruption but don’t do anything about it. Time to change that.

  6. Tex Hassler 09:29am, 02/09/2013

    Corruption in boxing is not confined to Texas, the US, Mexico or many other parts of the world. It hurts the boxers, the fans, and all connected with boxing. This sort of stuff just should not be but in reality happens more often than many people suspect.

  7. the thresher 07:42am, 02/09/2013

    “A senior Australian official confirmed afterwards the judges had not been told the fight had been shortened to ten rounds. But no one seems to know whose call it was or whether the referee or the ring announcer had made a mistake.
    “Officials of the Australian Boxing Federation are likely to investigate and discuss the matter as soon as possible. Everything points to a huge embarrassment for the federation and the organisers of the tournament.
    “The WBA may even declare the result null and void and order a rematch, taking the title away from Williams, a New Zealand rugby international who was fighting in only his sixth professional bout”

  8. THE THRESHER 07:00am, 02/09/2013

    Rax, you, JC40 and I are on the same page when it comes to these crossover freaks. The worse has been “Fingers’ Hopatate (spelling-?).

    As for the police, I have my suspicions on who that might be. I’m thinking West Coast.

    Of course, I can always change it to “Same Sex Street, “or “Alternative Life Style Street” but I think it loses something.  “Queer Street” will stay until and unless I am apprehended by the word police.

  9. raxman 11:05pm, 02/08/2013

    hang on thats a gag isn’t it? queer street is a common boxing term older than even you Ted!!!! back in better days when gay meant happy.
    it has to be a joke right - the term verbiage police is the tip off.
    i had money on frans botha - ever since jimmy thunder got stopped by mike bounty hunter i’ve been awake to the australian and kiwi fighters when they come up against experienced fighters - espec in the HW class.  i recently cleaned up when kevin johnson stopped alex leapai.
    but this fight was different. it shouldn’t even be called a fight. its a circus. run by mundine’s manager khoder Nasser (spelling may be wrong i try to ignore the guy). anyway i thought botha would be 5-1 or more but the bookies were onto it this time and had him paying $2.50 the win. given this fight had to end in a ko for botha to win i kept my money in my wallet except for a little flutter. the end result - no surprise. Sonny Bill isn’t supposed to be taken seriously. mundine for all his crap had grown up around boxing with a father who was a world class fighter - sonny bill is just gimmick - his fights have the same credibility as shaq fighting oscar!

  10. THE THRESHER 05:30pm, 02/08/2013


  11. Verbiage Police 04:57pm, 02/08/2013

    *** Notice ***

    Mr Sares: In the future, please refrain from using the derogatory term “Queer Street.”  That type of language is verboten on this site. Thank you for your cooperation and consider this your first warning.

  12. the thresher 03:49pm, 02/08/2013

    JC, How in God’s name are you matey. Always glad to see you here. I kinda of thought you might come on with this one. Wonder where Raxman is?

  13. JC45 01:53pm, 02/08/2013

    GDay Ted :)  ,  thanks for still keeping it real mate .

    I’ve been reading your articles about when boxing was still worth watching, mate. Unlike nowadays. That’s the same Mundine who was squealing about being ” robbed ” last week. I like Daniel Geale but if he is a world middleweight champion then I’m still 22 years old. In the 1950- 2000 period Daniel would be a fringe contender at best.

    I’ve had enough of a top ten p4p full of old men, cherry picking, celebrity fights, at least 50 blokes calling themselves “world champion” ( I may be exaggerating ),  the best refusing to fight the best .

    SBW is typical of late starters with athletic ability. He looks nice at times but has no real killer instinct, no ring intelligence, little power and if Botha could hurt him his beard is suspect. Botha is a 45 year old , fat part-time fighter who could never punch.

    Cheers mate, rant over, oh boxing, look what you have become .

  14. the thresher 10:01am, 02/08/2013

    I believe this fight was promoted by Mundine and Company. Hmmm.

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