On Stan Sport’s inaugural pay per view, rugby superstar Sonny Bill Williams (9-0, 4 KOs) made quick work of AFL premiership winner Barry Hall (0-1-1), securing a brutal knockout victory in the first round.
The win puts Williams in a good position to have more big money fights before hanging up the gloves for good, with Paul Gallen being mentioned as a possible opponent.
Many were expecting a clash packed with fireworks between the two big men, but it was Williams’ experience and precision that secured the easy victory.
At the opening bell, Williams looked to be the more composed of the two, setting traps for Hall with feints and the use of his jab to set up more powerful blows. Most commonly, the left hook thrown after the right cross,
After 45 seconds of the fight, Williams barely missed with a lead left hook, the force of which pushed Hall to the ground. Although this was not ruled a knockdown, the worst was yet to come.
At the midway mark of the first round, the multiple time NRL premier landed a beautiful overhand right that put Hall down for the first knockdown of the fight.
Although Hall got up, Williams put the final nail in the coffin with one more right hand that sent Hall crashing down to the canvas. Referee Les Fear was left no choice but to step in after 1:55 of the first round.
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In his post-fight interview, Williams sent a message to the crowd stating that he is passionate about elevating the sport of boxing.
“For me, I always say that there’s only 1% of people that would do this type of stuff,” Williams said.
“Much respect for Barry and his team for coming in here and doing this, because man I was ‘hella’ nervous before the fight.
“For me, the glory is to propel the sport and help youngsters come through and reach their dreams”.
When asked who he wanted next, Williams had said that a money fight with Paul Gallen was a possibility.
“You know there’s talk of Gallen, so maybe Gallen, but at the same time for me I feel like I’m an all-rounded person. There has to be some element of giving back which gives me that happiness and contentment that you’re in for.”
With a statement win, the doors open up for a lot of mega-fights for the Kiwi sporting icon, but a fight with Paul Gallen seems like it makes the most sense, both from a marketing standpoint and in terms of matching two of the more successful crossover fighters in recent years.
But will it happen? Only time will tell.
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