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Williams survives late Botha rally

By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing

International rugby star-turned-heavyweight Sonny Bill Williams (6-0, 3 KOs) barely held on to defeat 44-year-old former contender Frans Botha (48-9-3, 29 KOs) by ten round unanimous decision on Friday night at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Boondall, Queensland, Australia. Williams outboxed Botha over the first eight rounds, but was rocked in the ninth round. Botha continued to batter Williams in round ten, but it was too little, too late as Williams barely held on until the final bell. Scores were 97-91, 98-94, 97-91 as Williams claimed the vacant WBA International belt. There was controversy as the bout apparently was scheduled for twelve rounds, but suddenly changed to a ten rounder without notice.

Debuting rugby player/cruiserweight boxer Quade Cooper (1-0, 1 KO) scored a devastating first round KO over Barry Dunnett (1-2). Dunnett down twice. Cooper finished him with a right hand. Time was 2:59.

Heavyweight Alex Leapai (27-4-3, 21 KOs) scored a first round KO against Matt Hicks (13-9, 12 KOs). Time was 2:42.

Super middleweight Jarrod Fletcher (14-1, 7 KOs) scored a seventh round TKO over Kiatchai Singwancha (32-9, 21 KOs).

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