Boxing: Sonny Bill fight controversially cut by two rounds
BRISBANE (REUTERS) - Former New Zealand All Black Sonny Bill Williams won his sixth professional boxing fight in farcical circumstances on Friday when his contest with Francois Botha in Brisbane was cut short by two rounds in mid-fight.
Williams was clearly in trouble at the end of the WBA international heavyweight title bout against the veteran South African but held on to defy a flurry of punches and win the fight on points.
There was much confusion, however, when the bout, scheduled for 12 rounds, was ended after 10. Botha said his trainer had been told only at the end of the ninth round that the 10th would be the final round.
"It's a championship fight, how can you bend the rules just because he's a superstar rugby player?" said the 44-year-old, who fought Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson earlier in his career.