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Sport | All Black Sonny Bill Williams hooked on Boxing

Sport | All Black Sonny Bill Williams hooked on Boxing
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It has been a fantastic few years for Sonny Bill Williams. The infamous All blacks rugby player has been enjoying monumental amounts of success both on and off the pitch.

In 2011 he was part of the New Zealand team that went on to win the Rugby World Cup, even managing to gain some time in the final. Since then he has played for the Crusaders, getting to the final of Super 12, and then subsequently for the Chiefs in 2012 where he went on to win become Super League Champion.

Sonny Bill has since left to join Tokyo based team Panasonic Wild Knights where he is playing in the current season. More notably this year Sonny Bill was part of the All Blacks team to win the Rugby Championship (formerly Tri Nations) in an epic final.

Sonny Bill is known for his pace on the ball and his hard hitting style but perhaps his most trademark move is to hold the ball in one hand and use the spare to deliver punishing handoffs to his adversaries, guaranteeing him the break of at least one tackle and making bringing him down a team sport.

Perhaps then it is not surprising that in his down time Sonny Bill has taken on professional boxing in New Zealand, a commitment that he describes as “good off-season training”. So far SBW (as he is known in the ring) has fought six bouts and won all three, three of which were by knockout. It is a small start to his career but the statistics do look in his favour.

In November 2012 Williams fought against Francis Botha for the then vacant World Boxing Association International Heavy Weight Title. It looked to be a tight match, with Williams almost knocked out in the final round but in the end he won by unanimous points decision.

An illustrious career like Sonny Bill’s would be enough for most people but William’s is still hungry for more. His next step was to re-join the sport of Rugby League, which he left to pursue Union in 2008. He joined the Sydney Roosters, one of the oldest clubs in the country and went on to have another fantastic season that led to him winning the Grand Final and attaining glory once more.

There is still one more challenge remaining for Williams this year. He was recently announced to be in the New Zealand squad for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, which is being hosted in England. New Zealand are among the top contenders for the cup (with England and Australia being their close rivals) but will it be too much to ask of the man? Needless to say if Williams pulls of this final feat he will go down as one of the greatest sportsmen that New Zealand has ever produced.

Nick Gandy

Image Courtesy of the Daily Telegraph

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