Sonny Bill Williams and Francois Botha look set for a rematch in South Africa in December though there will be strict drug testing around the second edition of their heavyweight boxing battle.
Former All Black Williams beat the veteran South African Botha on points in their WBA international heavyweight fight in Brisbane on February 8.
The aftermath was full of controversy, including allegations of match fixing and bribery against the Williams camp, and a supposed positive drugs test by Botha. All of those issues have been disputed. There were also suggestions the belt won by Williams in just his fifth fight, wasn't sanctioned.
Both camps believed a rematch would help settle their differences and that now looks a distinct possibility.
Botha's boxing promoter, Thinus Strydom told Afrikaans newspaper Rapport, that he and Williams' manager Khoder Nasser had agreed to a rematch.
"They do however have a few pre-conditions, like sending samples three months prior to the fight as well as directly after the fight for dope tests. We don't have an issue with that," Strydom told the newspaper.
He added that the final contract for the rematch couldn't be signed until a suitable date had been found for TV broadcasters. Their last fight was a SKY TV pay-per-view affair for New Zealand audiences.
A South African venue has yet to be confirmed. Botha has a liking for Durban and Williams is keen on Cape Town, given the strong support he has built up there from his rugby-playing days.
The December time-frame will suit Williams' next footballing venture in the NRL. His return to the rugby league ranks is set to go up a gear this week with game time in the Rooster's final trial match against Benji Marshall's Tigers in Sydney on Saturday night.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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