Tyson trainer: Tommy Brooks Francois Botha was Mike’s first opponent after the great scandal in the Holyfield II bout, which took place on June 1997. Tyson was banned for one entire year and was totaly off 1 1/2 years since the fight against Botha was on January 99. Botha looks like a no-hoper but his record of 40-3-1-1 (25) is impressive and all of his 3 losses were against former or current champions, namely Michael Moorer, Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis. Botha himself was heavyweight champion when he beat Axel Schulz for the vacant IBF title but was later disqualified for the use of drugs.
The fight against Tyson saw Botha was ahead on all scorecards until Tyson connected with one tremendous right hand that finished the match, – Tyson threw a right while Botha was moving forward right into Tyson’s punch. That single punch settled the matter. Botha was badly hurt and failed to beat the count. Tyson put on a poor performance, he was slow and behaved like kind of numb but one has to keep in mind that Francois Botha was a tough opponent for a 18 months comeback fight. Botha tried to get up twice but failed, Mike and assisted the referee in helping botha to get up when the bell had rung. After the fight Tyson stated at the post press-conference that he felt rusty.
At the end of round one there had been some controversy when Tyson held Botha’s left arm who punched at Tyson in order to get free. Later Tyson said he had tried to break Botha’s arm. A sign that Tyson wasn’t feeling himself in the ring. Referee Steele deducted 2 points from Tyson
A successfull fight in that Mike won, but showed a lot of ring rust.