The third man in the ring of last weeks highly-controversial heavyweight contest between New Zealand rugby star Sonny Bill Williams and former world title challenger Francois Botha has admitted that he knew of an alleged bribe before the first bell rang.
Tony Kettlewell, who was unwittingly responsible for cutting short the bout from twelve to ten rounds and causing uproar, has now stated that he knew beforehand Botha’s claims he was offered money to throw the fight.
“”Philip (Holiday, Botha’s cornerman) just said (Botha) was offered so much money to throw the fight and he refused to,” Kettlewell was quoted as saying by AAP.
The referee also stated that he reported the incident to judge Steve Marshall, “just to let him know” but thought it was just ‘hearsay’ by Botha’s people.
Kettlewell then added: “I didn’t get a chance to speak to any other official about it because we were busy on the night.”
Botha, 44, has already stated that we wants a rematch with 27 year-old Williams, although the fallout from the first clash almost certainly rules that option out.
The South African has already been accused of drug-taking, along with his own allegations of a dive payment and both sides could now face future sanctions for what has turned into an ugly tit-for-tat mud-slinging match.