Boxing’s Francois Botha Signs With K-1;will Debut Vs. Lebanner In Osaka Oct. 11
Boxing’s Francois Botha Signs With K-1;
Will Debut Vs. LeBanner in Osaka Oct. 11
Written By Michael Afromowitz
In the wake of the Mike Tyson signing, K-1’s most widely publicized acquisition to date, another top 10 boxing contender in Francois "The White Buffalo" Botha, will join the ranks of "The New Fighting Sport" and will make his K-1 rules fighting debut in Osaka, Japan’s K-1 "Final Elimination" event on October 11th. Botha will face world Muay Thai kickboxing champion, Jerome LeBanner during the Osaka seven fight card that will be televised live on United States Pay-Per-View television.
The Botha signing came shortly after the 35-year-old boxer initiated a verbal confrontation with K-1 megastar Bob "The Beast" Sapp following Sapp’s first-round victory over fellow former NFL player Stephan Gamlin during the Sunday, September 21st K-1 "Survival 2003" card in Yokohama, Japan where Botha was on-hand as a spectator and guest of the K-1 organization. The exchange between Sapp and Botha, which turned into a shoving match, bore likeness to the showdown that unfolded between Tyson and Sapp on August 15th immediately after Sapp’s victory at K-1 "Battle At The Bellagio" in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Rated number 10 by The World Boxing Organization (WBO), Botha of Witbank, South Africa is also a former International Boxing Federation (IBF) World Heavyweight champion who boasts a professional boxing record of 44-4-2 (28 KO’s). The four losses on Botha’s record came at the hands of Lennox Lewis, Wladimir Klitschko, Michael Moorer, and Mike Tyson, all of whom have been heavyweight champions.
Botha’s October 11th opponent, Jerome LeBanner, is recognized as one of the most accomplished and brightest fighters in the history of K-1. Twice, in 1995 and last year, he reached the championship round of the K-1 World Grand Prix Finals, the eight-man single-elimination tournament staged on the first Sunday of every December in Tokyo, Japan’s 70,000-capacity Tokyo Dome. LeBanner is also the reigning International Sport Karate Association (ISKA) World Superheavyweight Muay Thai kickboxing champion.
Extreme Brawl 4
Held Sept, 28, 2003 – Bracknell, England
By David West