Rugby player-cum-heavyweight boxer Sonny Bill Williams to fight in SA

2012-04-14 19:11

This is a big break for South African sport.

Boxing promoter Thinus Strydom is currently conjuring an innovative move for South Africa and finalising the details for an international heavyweight contest with a difference.

Extraordinary! Sonny Bill Williams, the All Blacks rugby star and New Zealand heavyweight boxing champion, will face an unnamed top South African in Cape Town some time in November.

Strydom has a contract to promote five fights for Williams (26) in South Africa.

In a transatlantic call, Strydom excitedly told City Press: “I am currently in Australia, tying up the loose ends with Williams’ agent, Khoder Nasser.

“Unbelievably, rugby’s beloved and New Zealand’s heavyweight champion will meet our compatriot in Cape Town.”

Strydom also said he was in the process of talking to Fox TV and Sky New Zealand about the forthcoming heavyweight confrontation.

“It would be fantastic having a popular rugby player, regarded by some as the best in the world, fighting one of the top South Africans in Cape Town,” said Strydom.

“Williams has displayed enormous versatility, playing rugby and boxing simultaneously, and this explains why he has so much going for him as an athlete.”

A number of heavyweight boxers, including American Greg Page and Briton Lennox Lewis, have visited South Africa but never one as versatile as Williams.

Unbeaten Williams, who currently plays for the Chiefs, has had five paid fights, winning three on knockouts and two on points.

He seized the vacant New Zealand crown on a first-round technical knockout against Clarence Tillman two months ago.

Williams previously beat Alipate Liava’a (points, six), Scott Lewis (points, six), Ryan Hogan (knockout, one) and Gary Gurr (knockout, two).

The New Zealander has been a crowd puller wherever he has played rugby, and his fight in South Africa seems destined for nothing less.

According to Strydom, top promoter in the world, Don King, has also made an offer to Williams.

The New Zealander’s camp embraced Strydom because it is believed that the rugby player will be particularly well received in South Africa, where he is a sporting darling. 

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