Clifford Etienne, Francois Botha Brawl to Exciting 10-Round Draw On SHOWTIME Championship Boxing From New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana
Thrilling, Give-and-Take Fight Will Be Replayed on SHO2 Tuesday,
July 30, at 11 PM ET/PT
NEW ORLEANS, July 28 /PRNewswire/ -- In a crowd-pleasing slugfest that more than lived up to its "Call Of The Wild" billing, International Boxing Association (IBA) Continental Americas Heavyweight Champion Clifford "The Black Rhino" Etienne and three-time world championship challenger Francois "The White Buffalo" Botha slugged their way to a 10-round majority draw Saturday on SHOWTIME. Botha, who scored two knockdowns, led on one of the judges' scorecards, 95-93, but the other judges had the bout even at 94- apiece. The thrilling fight, promoted by Rhino Promotions, was televised by SHOWTIME at 9 p.m. ET/PT, from the New Orleans Arena. Botha (44-4-2, 1 NC, 28 KOs), of Newport Beach, Calif., by way of Witbank, South Africa, decked Etienne in the fifth and sixth rounds. Botha, who felt he was victim of a hometown decision, almost finished Etienne after a series of right hands put down Etienne the first time. An overhand right floored Etienne the second time. Botha captured the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) title on Dec. 9, 1995, when he defeated Axel Schulz in Germany. However, a month later, Botha was stripped of his title and the fight was ruled a no contest. On Jan. 16, 1999, Botha led Mike Tyson on all scorecards entering the fifth round. When he became over-confident, Tyson caught him with a picture-perfect right hand that sent him to the canvas, ending the fight. In his previous eight fights, Botha had posted a 5-2-1 record with his two losses coming to World Boxing Council (WBC)/International Boxing Federation (IBF) Heavyweight Champion Lennox Lewis in 2000 and World Boxing Organization (WBO) Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko on March 16, 2002. Etienne (24-1-1, 17 KOs), of Baton Rouge, La., got off to a fast start and was ahead by after four rounds. He rocked and staggered Botha on several occasions. Nearing the end of the eighth round, he landed two big punches that hurt Botha, but the punches clearly came a few seconds after the bell. Etienne captured the IBA heavyweight crown with a third-round knockout over Joey Guy in his hometown on June 30, 2000. After winning his first 19 bouts, including 13 by knockout, the "Black Rhino" made his SHOWTIME debut on March 23, 2001, and was stopped by Fres Oquendo in the eighth round. The International Boxing Federation (IBF) No. 9 heavyweight contender had scored knockouts in four of his previous five contests against opponents who shared a combined record of 113-37-3 SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING's Steve Albert and former world champion Bobby Czyz called the action from ringside. The executive producer of the SHOWTIME telecast was Jay Larkin with Ray Smaltz producing and Bob Dunphy directing. For information on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING and "ShoBox: The New Generation" telecasts, including bios and records, go to the SHOWTIME website at http://www.SHO.com. MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X70328464
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