SBW to train with Fury before bout with AFL great Hall

Sonny Bill Williams will train with world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury before his return to the ring in March, when he will take on former Sydney Swans player Barry Hall.

Williams, who is 8-0 as a boxer, will start as a heavy favourite in the March 23 bout at the International Convention Centre in Darling Harbour against Hall, whose only foray into combat sports ended with a majority draw with Paul Gallen in 2019.

Sonny Bill Williams is heading to the UK to train with Tyson Fury (inset).Credit:Getty, AP

With no football commitments to juggle, 36-year-old Williams said boxing would be the final chapter of his sporting career. The dual-code rugby star will fly to the UK on Thursday night to work with Fury, the enigmatic 31-0-1 Brit who won the third bout of his trilogy against Deontay Wilder in October.

“For the first time in my professional sporting career, I am fully concentrating on boxing. My focus on winning this fight begins with a phenomenal opportunity to join the world’s biggest name in boxing, Tyson Fury, at his training camp immediately,” Williams said.

“I know Barry Hall is a very hard man and his debut proved he has a ton of skill but he is inexperienced in the ring and nowhere near my class level. This fight against Hall starts the last chapter of my sporting career and I will take this win and move on to further big fights over the next 24-36 months.”

Hall showed plenty of courage in his draw with Gallen, who went on to show his toughness when he went the distance with Australia’s young heavyweight champion Justis Huni. The AFL Hall of Famer boxed in his youth and will believe he can rough up Williams, who has looked sharp at times in his short boxing career but has only fought twice since 2013.

“I showed against Paul Gallen that I can go the distance and go hard. Sonny is a hugely talented individual but has not ever faced anyone of my size or skill. The lad has had everything laid on a silver platter in his boxing career to date,” Hall said.

“Sonny Boy has made a mistake in taking this fight, I intend to finish his boxing career and open up bigger fight opportunities for myself.”

The event will be shown on Stan Event, which represents the first foray into pay-per-views for the Nine-owned streaming service (Nine is the publisher of this website). It puts it in competition with Main Event, which has historically broadcast boxing PPV’s via the Foxtel platforms.

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