Sonny Bill boxes to victory

  • Last Updated: February 8 2013, 13:11 GMT

Dual-code rugby star Sonny Bill Williams outpointed Francois Botha to take the WBA International heavyweight title in controversial circumstances in Brisbane.

  • Sonny Bill Williams: Captured the WBA International heavyweight title
  • Quade Cooper (r): First-round KO on debut 

The former All Black, who recently made the move back to rugby league with the Sydney Roosters, earned a unanimous decision after 10 rounds - but confusion reigned as many felt the bout had been scheduled for 12.

Williams, 27, used his superior reach to out-jab veteran South African Botha in the early stages of the fight with the 'White Buffalo' struggling to match his opponent's speed.

The 44-year-old Botha, who has fought the likes of Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield, launched some withering attacks in what proved to be the final rounds but fell short 97-91, 98-94, 97-91 on the scorecards.

It was the sixth fight of Williams' fledgling boxing career and he remains unbeaten.

On the undercard, another rugby star laced up the gloves for his first professional bout - Australia fly-half Quade Cooper.

The 24-year-old made a whirlwind start to life in the ring - sending the crowd into raptures as he produced a first-round knock-out of fellow Australian Barry Dunnett.

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