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banner Wednesday, 12 July, 2000, 17:51 GMT
Botha questions Lewis's commitment
Botha, Eliades, Warren and Maloney
Francois Botha (second right) was kept waiting by Lennox Lewis
Francois Botha has questioned Lennox Lewis's commitment to Britain, ahead of Saturday's world heavyweight title fight in London.

The South African is not the first to doubt Lewis's nationality and question the amount of time he spends in the country of his birth.

And with thousands of tickets still unsold for Saturday's fight at the London Arena, Botha blamed his opponent's low profile for the lack of publicity surrounding the bout.

"I believe he should have mingled with the people and then it would have been sold out the first night," Botha said.


"If I was from London I would have been training right here so I could have all the fans around me. He has been training in the US and I think that was a big mistake."

My problem is I need sparring in America. I can't become really good in this country because it will keep me at a certain level
  Lennox Lewis

Lewis, who arrived at the media conference after Botha had left, said: "My problem is I need sparring in America.

"I can't become really good in this country because it will keep me at a certain level.

"Abroad, I can become fully focused and fully primed for when I step into the ring.

"I'm just glad I'm able to go across to America and get all the belts and bring them back to Britain."


Botha - nicknamed the White Buffalo - clearly believes the world heavyweight champion is not showing him enough respect in, or out, of the ring.

Lennox Lewis
Lennox Lewis: Trains better in America
"Lennox Lewis hasn't felt the Buffalo's power yet. So many of these heavyweights underestimate me - they think I'm a fruitcake," Botha said.

Conversely, Lewis believes that no amount of tactics or psychology will change the result on Saturday.

"He does do some funny things in there, he throws the elbow and tries to clap you on the ears, but as far as him knocking me out or hurting me or outboxing me - no," Lewis added.

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See also:

11 Jul 00 |  Lewis in London
Tyson is just a 'clown'
07 Jul 00 |  Lewis in London
Lewis named 'champ of the year'
27 Jun 00 |  Lewis in London
Lewis ready for Tyson
11 Jul 00 |  Lewis in London
No chance for Botha
11 Jul 00 |  Lewis in London
Lewis set to call it a day
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