Rugby star Sonny Bill Williams first professional boxing bout lasts single round

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Former All Black Sonny Bill Williams stormed to victory against ex-Aussie rules star Barry Hall inside the first round of their 'Turf War' professional boxing match on Wednesday.

The multi-talented Williams, who has played international rugby for New Zealand's union, league and sevens teams, has dipped in and out of boxing throughout his career, and has an impressive 9-0 record to his name.

He stepped into enemy territory at the ICC Exhibition Center in Sydney on Wednesday night, but quickly asserted his dominance, downing Hall twice inside the first minute-and-a-half. Seconds later it was over, as Williams floored his opponent again, ending the fight with a big right hand.

The notoriously abrasive Hall, who was an amateur boxer in his youth, did his best to get under Williams' skin during the weigh-in on Tuesday, shoving his head into his opponent's face before they were separated, but their animosity appeared to be water under the bridge after the fight, with the two sharing a warm embrace.

Two-time Rugby World Cup winner, who trained alongside Tyson Fury in preparation for this week's bout, returned to the ring after a six-and-a-half-year absence last June, having called time on his union career in 2019.

He's always claimed that boxing has made him a better sportsman, as well as a more confident rugby player.

If you could pick two non-boxer British athletes to go one-on-one in the ring, who would it be? Let us know in the comments section.

Back in January, Williams spoke to The42 about his potential future in the sport, suggesting that a bout against a fellow rugby player might be on the cards soon.

"I know my level, you know what I mean? I’m not here saying, ‘I’m gonna be a world champion’ or whatnot. But the way the world of boxing is at the moment, there’s a lot of good fights out there for me," he said.

"I know in the rugby community, across rugby-playing countries, there are a few good boxers out there who are on my level."

  • Boxing
  • Rugby league
  • Rugby union

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