LAS VEGAS (April 10, 2010) – 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 8th 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).
Evander Holyfield (43-10-2, 28 KOs), Atlanta, GA WTKO8 (2:05) Frans Botha (47-5-3, 28 KOs), Newport Beach, CA
(Holyfield wins World Boxing Federation title)
Henry Namauu (6-3, 4 KOs), Las Vegas, NV WTKO7 (2:43) Rayford Johnson (5-5, 3 KOs), Longview, TX
Arthur Williams (47-16-1, 30 KOs), Pensacola, FL WDEC6 (59-55, 59-55, 59-55) Valente Tinajero (8-1, 4 KOs), Roy UT
Lawrence Hughes (4-0, 3 KOs), Las Vegas, NV DC4 (40-36, 40-36, 39-37) Juan Alcolea (2-2, 0 KOs), Las Vegas, NV
FEMALE SUPER FEATHERWEIGHTS
Jennifer Han (1-1-1), Tucson, AZ WDEC4 (40-36, 40-36, 40-36) Crystal Hoy (3-21-2, 2 KOs), Las Vegas, NV
Rocco Santomauro (4-0, 0 KOs), Las Vegas, NV WDEC4 (40-36, 40-36, 40-26) Karl Hammer (1-3, 0 KOs), Clearfield, UT
Alexis Santiago (3-0-1, 1 KO), Phoenix, AZ WDEC4 (40-36, 40-36, 40-36) Brice Yeniki (0-5), Las Vegas, NV
Post Fight Press Conference Quotes
Evander Holyfield: “People talk and you act like it doesn’t bother you when they call you old and senile. I’ve been telling people since 1992 when I lost to Riddick Bowe that I was going to be undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. I won 2 but not the third. It’s never been about money. I was brought up poor and never had anything. I was taught to have goals and to never quit.
“Botha gave me an opportunity. People talk about my legacy. It’s about who you’ve fought. They can’t deny me; I fight the best. I always want to fight somebody to get a little credit if I beat ‘em. When I decided to comeback it wasn’t because I’m the type that says he’s one of the best. This is a new era and I didn’t think I’d be in this era. I was laughing a little when I fought George Foreman. He was 42 and I was 29. I rally didn’t want to fight him. He didn’t beat me but he did become world champion again. What I learned from that fight was George said it wasn’t about age but that I will give my all.
“You can’t let people tell you what you can do. I fight because I want to. I wouldn’t be the person I am without opportunities.”
Frans Botha: “I’m honored to fight in Las Vegas and to fight a great champion. Evander Holyfield is the real deal, a true champion and warrior. I can’t feel ashamed to lose to a great champion. I think he’s going to rule again. He has the skill, power and determination, everything to get that title again.”