Sunday, July 04, 2010
A year ago league convert Sonny Bill Williams made his professional boxing debut when he went up against Gary The Baboob Gurr in Brisbane. Williams fought again this past week, for charity, as he took on Ryan Hulk Hogan.
They say it would take a lot of guts to step in the ring with the supremely cut 108kg former league star, and Hogan had that in abundance. His 135kg physique made the fight somewhat of a mismatch, with Williams winning easily in the first round.
As with last year, it was a bit farcical as the newly signed Canterbury player was never tested, barely breaking sweat as he won in just 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
It was a curtain raiser for his mate Antony Mundines fight, with proceeds going to charity. Mundine, a former league player himself, helped Sonny Bill with his first fight a year ago too.
Williams said he would have preferred a sterner challenge and apparently only found out who he was fighting shortly before hand. "He moved around a bit and would have liked it to be a bit more toe-to-toe," he said.
The Toulon star has recently moved back to New Zealand, having signed with Canterbury as he will now concentrate on his rugby career, with his main goal being to earn the All Blacks jersey. He will start in the ITM Cup (formerly Air New Zealand Cup) if selected to play against Hawke's Bay on the 30th of this month.
He will more than likely play first centre, or somewhere in the backs, but Wayne Smith says hed like to see him on the field before he decides where hed be best suited to. Williams said he chose Canterbury for a number of reasons, particularly the chance to play with Dan Carter.
"Obviously Carter was a very big factor. He's one of the best number 10s in the world, up there with Jonny Wilkinson. I felt that when I was in Toulon I played my best rugby when I formed a good connection with Jonny," said Williams.
"I'm going down there with a blank page and I'm willing to learn off anyone, whether it be Dan Carter or the younger boys. When Wilkinson was asked recently if he thinks Williams will make the All Blacks, he confidently said "Definitely. I've not seen the likes of him before."
Williams chose Canterbury despite better offers from other provinces, as well as the lure of a sizable financial package for an extension at Toulon. He has departed on good terms though, and hasnt ruled out possibly going back one day. "Toulon have already said they want me to go back after my contract so it's good to have that option too."
"He's a real athlete. It'll be fantastic to work alongside him," said new teamate Dan Carter. "He's a guy that can turn a game on its head with his power and his skills. His off-load abilities are fantastic. I think it'll add another dimension to our game."
He's proved that he can play while in France. Do you think he'll make his mark in New Zealand and make the All Blacks end of year tour, or is Sonny Bill Williams over rated and over hyped?
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