BRISBANE - Boos drowned out Sonny Bill Williams despite the code hopper technically claiming the biggest scalp in his fledgling boxing career in Brisbane on Friday night.
Former All Black Williams (6-0) controversially emerged an unanimous points winner over South African legend Francois Botha (48-9) after his billed 12 round WBA international heavyweight title fight was for some reason cut short by two rounds - sparking howls from the packed crowd.
But the Brisbane faithful really sounded their disapproval after 27-year-old Sydney Roosters NRL star Williams was given the nod 97-91, 98-94 and 97-91 by judges despite appearing to have been trampled by the South African bruiser dubbed "the White Buffalo".
Botha, 44, showed all the experience that had earned him world title fights with boxing superstars Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield.
And he appeared to be following a 12-round plan to the letter by finishing strongly and battering Williams in the ninth round, only to appear stunned in the 10th when the ring announcer claimed the fight was reaching its climax.
When pressed after an angry Botha reluctantly retired to the dressing room, Williams' manager Khoder Nasser hinted that they cut it short after the big South African delivered several blows to the back of his prized charge's head.
Botha was disgusted by the verdict and claimed he would either protest the result or seek out a re-match.
"I was preparing for a 12-round fight and pacing myself," Botha told AAP.
"Then all of a sudden at the start of the 10th it was the final round.