Hall of Fame-bound Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield added the World Boxing Federation heavyweight title belt to his overcrowded trophy case, stopping defending champion Frans “The White Buffalo” Botha in the eighth round last night in the main event on “The Legend Returns” card, promoted by Crown Boxing, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Botha (47-5-3, 28 KOs) came out throwing bombs for the first five rounds, buzzing Holyfield (43-10-2, 27 KOs) a few times. Holyfield came on strong at the end of the fifth, taking full control of the fight in the sixth and seventh by throwing letting his hands go and throwing effective combinations.
In the eighth round, Holyfield dropped Botha with a right hand and when a damaged Botha got to his feet, Evander overwhelmed his South African opponent until referee Russell Mora called an end to the fight.
“He is a very good defensive fighter,” Holyfield said after the fight. “He’s a smart fighter, too. His right hand had a lot of power and he’s also a very quick big man. I gave myself a 7. I can get better. I’d been off a long time and I know I can get better. I want to come back very soon.”
“Evander is a great fighter,” Botha remarked. “He capitalized on my mistakes. I thought I had him going early. I have to go home and sit down with my team. Who knows (about his future plans)? We’ll see how he goes forward.”:
In the co-feature, hometown favorite Henry Namauu, 2006 National Collegiate champion at UNLV, stopped a game Rayford Johnson in the seventh round of their back-and-forth battle of tough cruiserweights. Referee Tony Weeks halted the action when Namauu unleashed a series of unanswered, power-packed punches.
Former IBF cruiserweight champion “King” Arthur Williams recorded his 47th career victory, winning a unanimous 6-round decision against previously unbeaten Valente Tinajero (8-1).