Reigning WBF heavyweight title-holder Frans “The White Buffalo” Botha was supposed to fight four-time world heavyweight champion Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield 12 years ago but boxing politics eventually destroyed that match-up.
More than a decade later, though, Botha (47-4-3, 28 KOs) will finally get his crack at the living legend and future Hall of Famer when he defends his title belt April 10 against Holyfield in the 12-round main event, headlining “The Legend Returns” pay-per-view event, live at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
In 1998, Botha was the No. 1 mandatory challenger and Holyfield world champion. Instead of getting his title shot, Botha explained, he was placed in a box-off that he refused to fight in, sending him from No. 1 to No. 11 in the ratings, and Holyfield ended-up fighting Vaughn Bean.
“God works in mysterious ways,” Botha said. “[Promoter] Frank [Luca - Crown Boxing] got me Evander. We both have a lot of experience and it’s going to be a good fight. I know he’s going to be right there and he’ll be in good condition. This is a chance for me to prove I still got it. Holyfield is coming to prove himself as well. If he doesn’t beat me, he’s done, and I’m going to make sure that this is his last fight. I’m going to retire him once and for all.”
The 47-year-old Holyfield (42-10-2, 27 KOs) is coming off of a controversial 12-round majority decision loss December 20, 2008 in Switzerland to then World Boxing Association champion Nicolai Valuev that most observers felt Holyfield really won.
“He is a legend, take nothing away from him,” Botha continued. “He’s one of the all-time best, a multiple world champion who has fought the best heavyweights in the world. I can’t ask for anything better at this stage of my career. It’s a big opportunity. I have another 2-3 good years left to do some damage in the heavyweight division.
"All of my losses have been to world champions (Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, Michael Moorer and Shannon Briggs) and three of those fights never should have been losses. A win will put me right back in the picture and I’d then I’d like to fight Vitali Klitschko.”
Tickets, priced at $25.00, $75.00, $150.00 and $250.00, are available to purchase at www.UNLVtickets.com or by calling 702.739.3267.
“The Legend Returns,” presented by Crown Boxing, is being distributed in the United States and Canada by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing at 9 PM/ET – 6 PM/PT on both cable and satellite pay-per-view via iN Demand, DIRECTV, DISH Network, Avail-TVN, Viewer’s Choice and Bell TV, for a suggested retail price of only $29.95.