'The closest thing I've seen to match fixing' - Longeran
Duco Events director and boxing promoter Dean Lonergan has hit out at Sonny Bill Williams' manager Khoder Nasser, for the farcical finish to last weekend's fight against Francois Botha in Brisbane.
Speaking to The Breeze radio station this morning, Lonergan labelled Nasser ''an idiot'' for his part in the debacle, which saw the originally scheduled 12-round bout called off after 10.
''I just think it's one of the biggest rorts I've ever seen in sporting history and Khoder Nasser deserves a damn good slapping,'' Lonergan said.
''The second it looks like Sonny Bill Williams might get beat when he's struggling in round number nine and round number 10, it's all of a sudden cut down to 10 rounds.
''This is the closest you've seen to match fixing. It's like the All Blacks being two points ahead with 10 minutes to go and then we call the game off just because we think they're going to lose. You can't go shortening things like this without telling people. And even if Khoder did have agreement from the other side an hour before the fight, what he should have done is announced it to the television networks and maybe the MC right at the start of the fight to say that this is a 10-round fight and no-one would have any problems. Khoder's an idiot.''
Botha subsequently failed a pre-fight drugs test and Lonergan said he believed Nasser's brother was involved in the testing process.
"I do know a lot of people who deal with him and they say he's very good to deal with from a managerial point of view, but when it comes to boxing promotion, this boy is is either A, incredibly devious, or B, just a complete amateur and has no idea because there's no way this sort of carry on would happen in one of our promotions.''
Lonergan is now helping to train David Tua five days a week to prepare the 40-year-old for a return to the ring in July/August.
A proposed fight against Williams has been mentioned but Lonergan was brutal in his assessment of that match-up.
''It's fair to say if Sonny Bill Williams ever manned up, and he wouldn't because he'd be too scared, he would have his ribs crushed, he'd have his jaw broken and be knocked out in a very short space of time by David Tua, who is still one of the most lethal people of all time to get in the boxing ring.''