Sonny Bill Williams.
- Me, Myself, and I
- For those who don't know who SBW is?!
"Sonny Bill Williams is a former professional rugby league and rugby union player. He has currently begun a career in boxing. He first made a name for himself during his rugby league career, where he was known for his hard shoulder charging defense, offloading ability and try scoring prowess. He is also known for his 2008 sudden and controversial mid-season departure from his National Rugby League team to play rugby union in France. He represented New Zealand at international level; at the time of converting to union, Williams was contracted to the Bulldogs Rugby League Football Club in the Australian National Rugby League."
Full Name: Sonny Bill Williams.
Born: 3.8.1985 (Auckland, New Zealand)
Height: 1.95 m (6 ft 5 in)
Weight: 115 kg (18 st 2 lb)
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AFTER initially declaring his appearance in the ring on Wednesday night would be a one-off, Sonny Bill Williams plans to fight again on another Anthony Mundine undercard to promote the WBA's KO to Drugs campaign.
Williams, who was being referred to as "Big Choc" in the Mundine camp after his stylish debut against Kiwi street brawler Gary "The Baboon" Gurr at Brisbane Entertainment Centre, had only six weeks preparation for the fight while playing rugby union in France but said he intended to continue boxing training.
"I feel like I could have done a lot better than I did, and if the KO to Drugs is on again next year, I definitely want to be a part of it," Williams told the Herald yesterday. "I just think if I train for a bit longer than I did that I have a lot of room for improvement."
Entering the ring to a traditional Samoan tune used by WBO super-middleweight champion Maselino Masoe when he won his title in Germany earlier this year, Williams said he had been more nervous than he usually would be before most matches he played in the NRL or since switching to rugby union. But he quickly settled in and stopped Gurr midway through the second round.
"It's more nerve-racking than footy because I didn't know what to expect, and you're in there by yourself," he said. "I know how to prepare my body on game day to a tee so that I am peaking when I get on the field but that was a whole new experience for me.
"It was crazy but it was fun. To my left there was all these guys standing up and giving me the fingers, and when I went around the other side of the ring there were all of these people jumping up and down and screaming at me. The guy I fought wasn't anything special but I was still anxious.
"I feel I could have have moved around a bit better and threw my jab out a bit quicker, but I was just nervous. As the fight went on I got a lot more confident and I started to feel better with every punch. I really enjoyed the experience, and it was cool to be part of Choc's big night and to see him get up for his third world title."
Williams had been on hand when Masoe beat Hungary's Karoly Balzsay in April, and he returned the favour on Wednesday night.
Also in Williams's corner for the fight were Masoe's brother, former All Black Chris Masoe, and the former Bulldogs star's Toulon teammates Mafileo Kefu and Fotunuupule Auelua.
The Sydney Morning Herald
0 Comments 207 weeks
IT WAS probably just as well for Gary "the Baboon" Gurr that he abandoned a provocative plan to wear a Bulldogs jersey into the ring last night as it took Sonny Bill Williams fewer than two rounds to pound the Auckland street brawler into submission.
Making his professional boxing debut as the main attraction on the undercard to Anthony Mundine's world title fight against Daniel Geale, Williams stopped Gurr midway through the second round of a fight that stopped sports fans around the nation.
At the NSW State of Origin team's hotel in Werribee, Blues players gathered to watch the bout, but a late bid by the Maroons to have the pay-per-view fight put on at their rural Victorian retreat failed and coach Mal Meninga has requested a DVD for the players to watch today.
A packed house at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre gave Williams a mixed reception when he entered the ring and Gurr seemed determined to cause an upset when he charged at the former NRL star as the bell rang for the opening round and forced him against the ropes.
Williams had too much speed and power and his superior fitness showed by the latter stages of the first round as he rocked Gurr with a heavy uppercut. Using a combination of jabs and uppercuts, he quickly finished off the 31-year-old.
Williams had been wary of Gurr, who has a reputation for knocking out bouncers at Auckland nightclubs. "It was a whole new sport but it was fun, the lungs started blowing a bit hard. It was pretty tough out there, the way this guy was talking during the week I had to be on top of my game or I was going to get knocked out."
Boxing great Tony Mundine, who trained Williams in his limited preparation, said: "For a big man, he's got good footwork. He surprised me. I call him second to Ali. He moves well."
Gurr's trainer Craig Thompson said the pre-fight antics of his charge were nothing personal and he was a fan of Williams, who walked out on the Bulldogs to join French rugby union club Toulon. "Deep down Gary used to play league himself for the Hibiscus Coast Raiders and he's a league fan," he said. "He didn't like the Bulldogs himself but he appreciates Sonny's natural ability and knows he is a great athlete."
The Sydney Morning Herald
0 Comments 207 weeks
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