Boxing News

Williams-Botha controversy gets stranger

Although the bout between Sonny Bill Williams and Frans Botha was clearly being billed as a twelve rounder as recently as Friday’s weigh-in, Williams maintains via Twitter that he and Botha “both knew it was a 10 rounder.” Bizarrely, Botha’s promoter Tinus Strydom backed up Williams’ side of the story, telling ABC News that he was indeed informed that the fight was reduced to a ten rounder shortly before the fight, but he never bothered to pass this information along to his fighter.

Apparently few others were in on the secret either as in addition to Botha’s corner, fans in attendance, the television broadcasters, ringside media, bookmakers and even the judges scoring the fight had no knowledge of the bout being shortened. “When the ring announcer said that it was the last round, that was the first we knew of any change,” ringside judge Alan Moore was quoted as saying. Several angry bookmakers are refunding bets made on Botha, while also paying bettors who wagered on Williams.

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