Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sonny Boo wins; officially, at least

Stuff reports:

Boos drowned out Sonny Bill Williams despite the code hopper technically claiming the biggest scalp in his fledgling boxing career in Brisbane on Friday night.
Former All Black Williams (6-0) somehow emerged a unanimous points winner in his WBA international heavyweight title fight with Francois Botha (48-9) despite appearing to have been trampled by the South African bruiser dubbed "the White Buffalo".
Botha, 44, showed all the experience that had led him to world title fights with boxing's who's who including the likes of Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield.
Yet despite battering Williams throughout their 10-round bout, Botha suffered the ninth loss in his 60 pro fights - much to the disgust of the packed Brisbane Entertainment Centre crowd.
Williams, 27, was almost booed out of the ring after officials somehow awarded the fight to the Sydney Roosters NRL star 97-91, 98-94 and 97-91.
Williams had threatened to give up the sport if he was knocked out by Botha.
But it appears Williams' boxing options are limited despite somehow emerging triumphant from his "victory" over the hard-hitting Botha.  

It sounds as though this was one of "those" decisions which has littered boxing's past, especially with the 12-round fight coming to an abrupt end after ten rounds, just as Botha started to gain the upper hand. And it's ironic that it comes barely 24 hours after the Australian Crime Commission reported on its fears of organised crime involvement in professional sport in Australia.

Williams can't hide any more. If he is serious about a boxing career, he needs to channel all his efforts into it. Likewise, if he is serious about his footballing career, that has to be his sole focus. But more importantly, if Williams wants to make a go of boxing, he has to stop fighting blokes whose better days are well behind them, or who never had better days.

Francois Botha was Williams' toughest opponent so far, and it showed last night. It's time for those who manage Williams to decide whether to expose him to the next step up, where he might genuinely be exposed. 

1 comment:

Pete George said...

Sonny Bill tweeted "We don't pay attention to corrupt judges!!"

Oh, hang on, that was last week. This week he could have omitted the 'don't' and the 'attention to' and no one would be surprised.

In a sport well known for it's farces this ranks up there at world chanpionship level.