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The Boxing Weekend: Evander Holyfield – Frans Botha Headlines

By Geno McGahee

ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights

The career of veteran welterweight David Estrada, 23-6, 14 KO’s, continues as he takes on Orlando Lora, 26-0-1, 18 KO’s, for the vacant WBC FECOMBOX Welterweight title, whatever that’s worth. 

Estrada has been in with the best and always gives everything he has inside of the ropes.  He took on Shane Mosley, losing a decision, was stopped in a war with Kermit Cintron in the tenth round. Andre Berto was able to stop him in eleven rounds.  Most recently, Jesus Soto Karass was able to stop Estrada in eight rounds.  Every time that Estrada has stepped up, he has lost and now we will find out if Lora is in the same group as those mentioned above.

The career of Lora was built on no-hopers…men like Hicklet Lau, a boxer that brought in a record of 7-7-1.  Jesus Ortega was 12-15, Francisco Villanueva was 4-10-2 before he was considered hopeless enough to step into the ring with Lora.  Most of the victims came in wearing toe tags, but now he has Estrada in front of him.  Make no mistake, Estrada is beyond his better years.  The continual punishment and wars in the ring have taken their toll, but he still presents the best fighter, on paper, of the young Lora’s career.  


The 4-Time Heavyweight Champion, Evander Holyfield, 42-10-2, 27 KO’s, takes on the WBF Heavyweight Champion, Frans “White Buffalo” Botha, 47-4-3, 28 KO’s, in a 12 round bout.  Holyfield wants desperately to face off against a champion…one of the more well known titles out there (WBA, WBO, IBF, WBC) but is settling for the WBF.  Winning this title would also sweeten the pot for a Mike Tyson rematch.  Tyson-Holyfield for the heavyweight title.  That’s a sale right there.

Botha came back to boxing after a failed attempt at mixed martial arts.  Somebody named “Mighty Mo” knocked him into tomorrow in just one round and he had a record somewhere in the range of 2 wins and 11 defeats.  Mixed Martial Arts was not for him, but many boxers were drawn to it because of the money.  Shannon Briggs, Ray Mercer, and several others have stepped into the world of cage fighting and have lost typically, with the exception of Briggs, a man with one MMA fight and one KO win.

Botha is up there in years, like Holyfield, but doesn’t have as many miles on him.  How the kicks to the legs and advanced age will affect him as he takes on one of the dirtiest fighters in the game will be answered Saturday night. 

There is intrigue to this bout, mainly as a fan of the 1990’s heavyweights.  Botha is a live dog in this fight and could upset Holyfield, especially when you look at the recent string of “Real Deal” fights.  He has not been impressive.  Some point to Valuev as proof that he is still a big player, but watch that fight and try to give the title to Holyfield off that performance.  Valuev won, but it wasn’t pretty.

The main event for the PPV is almost worth 30 bucks, but the undercard is one of the worst that I’ve seen.  We have a 10 rounder in the cruiserweights to support it featuring Henry Namauu, 5-3, 3 KO’s, taking on Rayford Johnson, 5-4, 3 KO’s.  King Arthur Williams, 46-16-1, 30 KO’s, steps into the ring with Valente Tinajero, 8-0, 4 KO’s, and we have several four rounders to complete the card.  It’s not a good card as a whole, but if you want to see the former champ go in there against the White Buffalo, it might be worth the money, especially if you didn’t make the mistake of renting the farce that was Roy Jones JR – Bernard Hopkins II.


If you opt not to rent the PPV and tune into HBO, we have WBC Welterweight Champion Andre Berto, 25-0, 19 KO’s, taking on Carlos Quintana, 27-2, 21 KO’s, for all the marbles.  Berto missed an opportunity to take on Shane Mosley in a high profile match up and now faces the only man to hold a victory over Paul Williams in Quintana.  Both of Quintan’s losses were by stoppage, one to a prime Miguel Cotto, and the other in a rematch to Williams, where Quintana was destroyed in 2 minutes and 15 seconds. 

Quintana has bounced back with two knockout wins since his defeat and he’s a good boxer/puncher.  Berto, although he has the title around his waist, is still an unknown.  How good is he?  We should get some answers Saturday night when he takes on a known commodity in Quintana.

Also on the card is the interim WBA Featherweight Title with Celestino Caballero, 33-2, 23 KO’s, facing off against the undefeated Daud Cino Yordan, 25-0, 19 KO’s, in a 12 rounder.

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