Sonny Bill Williams

Sonny Bill Williams beats Barry Hall with first-round knockout

The dual code rugby star demolished AFL great Hall overnight in Australia, dominating from the opening seconds.

Williams jolted the Sydney Swans premiership winner in the first half minute with some crisp accurate shots.

Hall was down after just 47 seconds, though referee Les Fear said he didn't see a punch.

It looked like Hall had been hit with a left hook and he appeared unsteady after standing up.

Within 40 seconds, the 45-year-old returned to the canvas after taking a couple of big shots,

Barry Hall charges at Sonny Bill Williams at fight weigh-in

Hall aggressively pushed his head into Williams' face as the tension threatened to spill over ahead of tonight's heavyweight fight.

Hall is returning to the ring for the first time since he fought to a draw with former NRL star Paul Gallen in their 'Code War' bout in 2019.

Sonny Bill says the training camp in Ireland with the Tyson Fury camp had been eye-opening and he was in peak condition and ready to keep his 9-0 unbeaten record intact.

 

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Sonny Bill Williams: I would have mulled All Blacks to Samoa switch after 2015 RWC

Williams is now 36, and about to embark on the final chapter of his sporting career as he “scratches the itch” to give boxing a proper crack.

But Williams is more than a sportsman these days. After hanging up the boots he moved into the commentary box with broadcaster Stan in Australia, and away from the industry entirely he has used his platform to advocate on behalf of asylum seekers.

Sonny Bill Williams reveals plan to train with Tyson Fury, Joe Parker for Barry Hall fight

Williams and Hall confirmed the fight on Thursday, pitting the 36-year-old former All Blacks and Roosters star against the 44-year-old Sydney Swans icon.

Hall went down in AFL infamy for knocking out a rival player with a sickening punch in 2008, and fought out a draw with league star-turned-boxer Paul Gallen in 2019.

Williams said his return to the ring was to scratch his last sporting itch, and will soon depart north to work with Parker and Fury as he tries to finish his sporting career with a successful chapter in the fight game.

Sonny Bill Williams reveals two-year 'process' that includes a Paul Gallen superfight

The two retired NRL premiership stars have been on a collision course to square off in the ring ever since Gallen made his debut with the gloves in 2012, and football fans begged for the bout to happen.

Williams has since been accused of dodging Gallen, and last year the latter conceded the cross-code event that was little chance of happening.

Williams had his first fight in 2009 and has only had eight in total, although has won every one of those.

In June he had his first fight in six years, defeating Waikato Falefehi by unanimous decision.

Quade Cooper's emotional tribute to SBW after match-winning heroics

Cooper completed a fairytale return to test rugby over the weekend as he played a starring role in defeating the world champions by landing the match-winning penalty in injury time to clinch a 28-26 victory on the Gold Coast.

Not only did the successful penalty attempt hand the Wallabies their first victory in the Rugby Championship this year, but it vindicated Cooper’s return to the Australian national set-up after a four-year absence from the green and gold jersey.

Sonny Bill Williams hopes Scott Morrison signs refugee deal

Eight years ago, New Zealand offered to resettle 150 refugees a year from Australia's offshore detention system.

Williams is urging Morrison to finally accept the offer.

"I think 250 people or close to, have been left in Papua New Guinea and in Nauru that can be brought to have a better life.

"They've been stuck for the last eight years. We can't even do it for two weeks in quarantine, imagine doing it for eight years."

He told Morning Report that New Zealand needed to understand the meaning of refugees.

SBW moves into commentary box

The dual code international, who confirmed his retirement this week, will provide opinion and analysis during Australia's National Rugby League (NRL) and Super Rugby AU competitions along with New Zealand's Super Rugby Aotearoa tournament.

Williams, whose father is Samoan, said he looked forward to a new challenge and hoped to inspire young Polynesian players by taking on the role.

SBW hangs up boots and laces up gloves

The 35 Williams has told Nine News in Sydney that he now wants to focus on becoming a world champion boxer.

Williams finishes his NRL career having played 123 first grade games between the Bulldogs and Roosters, with premiership wins at both clubs in 2004 and 2013.

He will however continue to be involved with the Roosters in a mentoring role.

Williams played 58 times for the All Blacks.

Ex-All Blacks midfielder Sonny Bill Williams drops a big hint on Twitter over his next career move

In his latest post to his Twitter followers, the 35-year-old said “the new journey begins” while standing in a boxing ring. 

Reports had emerged in Australia in recent weeks that he would be making a return to boxing – and this latest post all but confirms those rumours about the latest sports switch. He could face a yet-to-be-determined opponent in a warm-up bout before fighting ex-AFL star Barry Hall.