Former All Black Sonny Bill Williams will make his long awaited return to the boxing ring with a fight against a former Aussie Rules hard man in March.
Williams will take on Barry Hall on March 23 in Sydney, almost a year since his unconvincing unanimous decision win over Waikato Falefehi in Townsville.
Hall is famous among fans for knocking out a rival AFL player with a sickening punch in 2008 but more recently fought his way to a draw against former NRL champion-turned-boxer Paul Gallen in 2019.
Since the fight with Gallen, Hall has called out Williams multiple times for a fight.
Williams said on Thursday he will be calling on some serious star power to help him prepare for the fight with the 36-year-old to spend time training with former heavyweight champion Joseph Parker and current champion Tyson Fury in the UK.
“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 in the United States immediately, to ensure I am 100 per cent prepared for this fight,” Willams said.
Williams said preparation will be key for his fight with 44-year-old Hall after a lacklustre buildup against Falefehi last year when he suffered a shock knockdown.
“I know Barry Hall is a very hard man and his debut proved he has a tonne of skill, but he is inexperienced in the ring and nowhere near my class level," Williams said.
“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, on the other hand, said the fight will be the end of the cross-code star.
"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 of the 8-0 Williams.
“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.”