Boxing


This Friday, Heavyweights Timo Hoffman and Francois Botha Collide In Germany

by James Slater - It may turn out to be a pity that the heavyweight bout taking place this coming Friday in Germany between the huge Timo Hoffman and the slightly less big Francois Botha is not going to be televised live anywhere other than in the country hosting the fight. Likely to be a fun-to-watch, if somewhat sloppy, slugfest, the clash would surely get a number of US and UK fans tuning in if it were available. Not one for the purists by any means, the clash of colossal veterans will probably entertain nonetheless..

Also, as critical as some people will be about the bout that will contest the almost meaningless WBF heavyweight title, it's tough to pick a winner going in. That, at least, makes the fight a little intriguing. 34-year-old Hoffman starts a slight favourite in my book, however. At just over 6'7," and approx 260 pounds, "The Body" (as the 38-6-1(22) giant is nicknamed) is one hard man to get outta there. The only man to have ever taken the powerhouse that is reigning WBC heavyweight king Vitali Klitscho the distance, Hoffman's chin and durability have been proven at the highest level.

Hoffman may have lost a couple of fights quite recently - to the unbeaten Alexander Dimitrenko in his last-but-one fight, when he was stopped for the very first time, and to Timor Ibragimov before that - but Timo will be boxing at home and he is also coming off a KO win (last October, against Raymond Ochieng). On the comeback trail, the 40-year-old "White Buffalo" has fought just twice in the last seven years. A points win over another big guy in Australia's Bob Mirovic came in July of 2007, and then this past February Botha, 46-4-2(28) won a UD over 12 rounds in a fight with the 20-15-3 Ron Guerrero. Will the former world title challenger's comeback come to an end in the Hoffman fight or will it continue?

Botha may have more KO's than Hoffman, and he may arguably have been in with better names (Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, Wladmir Klitschko, Michael Moorer), but he will really have to go some to topple the brick wall of an opponent he will be colliding with on May 15th. The question of physical condition comes into play also. Botha weighed around 230 to 240 in his best years, yet now he comes in at around 260 to 265. Hoffman, on the other hand, has always fought at around the same weight he comes in at today.

Another factor may be hand speed. Botha still has reasonably quick hands, even if they are not as swift as they were in his heyday. Maybe the South African will be coming in on Friday evening knowing full well he cannot stop the man only Dimitrenko has thus far managed to stop (in the 12th round), and will therefore be looking to outbox him and win on points. If he's in good enough shape and he still has enough left, Botha might just do it.

Hopefully, the fight WILL be a good one for the fans to enjoy. It could be a slugfest, it could have some drama provided by a knockdown or two along the way, and the fight could be one that ends in a violent knockout. Sure, this may be wishful thinking and the fight could well become an ugly and slow paced wrestling match, but it's a slow news day today and there ain't too much else to write about right now!

Sometimes, good heavyweight action comes from a fight that carries with it the least expectation. For those fans who have paid for a ticket so as to be in attendance in Germany on Friday, let's hope Botha-Hoffman is one such example.

And as for a prediction; I go for Hoffman to score a late rounds stoppage.

Article posted on 11.05.2009



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