Barry Hall has made a revealing admission about the reality of his boxing future just hours before his fight with Sonny Bill Williams.
Barry Hall and Sonny Bill Williams will finally rumble in the ring on Wednesday night in a fight that has taken years to eventuate.
Hall and Williams are both fighting for their careers with a likely showdown with former NRL star Paul Gallen waiting at the end of the line for whoever impresses the most at Sydney’s International Convention Centre.
On Tuesday, Hall landed the first blow on Williams, getting up close and personal with the former NRL and rugby star.
The pair have shot the occasional verbal jab at each other in the lead up to the fight night but nothing has really landed.
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Hall got physical, appearing to headbutt Williams after their weigh in.
Although the 45-year-old Hall is giving up nine years and, at 97.8kg to Williams’ 109.1kg,
Coming a day after Williams’ trainer Andy Lee tipped Williams to fight for a world title over the next two years, it appears the pleasantries are over with a day to go before the grudge match.
Hall makes big call on his boxing future
Barry Hall has admitted his boxing career will be on shaky ground if he falls to Williams on Wednesday night.
The former Swans key forward said just hours before the fight he is under no illusions that his future depends on a victory over Williams.
His statement comes after he last year signed a two-fight contract with a promotion company with one fight still yet to happen. He also said at the start of the year he wanted to fight three times in 2022.
“They’re taking food of my table. That’s the way I look at it,” he said of Williams’ camp.
“I’m trying to set up my kids’ future, so like him or not, he’s going to get hurt.
“At the start of the year, I wanted to have three fights, that was the plan. But it’s all results based. I’m under no illusions with where I’m at and where he’s at. He’s a big name. If I drop this fight it’s probably going to be a long road back.”
Williams’ trainer’s extraordinary declaration
Sonny Bill Williams’ trainer Andy Lee has declared the former NRL premiership winner and Rugby World Cup champion could be turned into a world heavyweight title contender. Set to fight Barry Hall on Wednesday night at the International Convention Centre on Wednesday night, Williams comes into the fight at 8-0 with three knockouts under his belt.
Ranked as the 13th best heavyweight in Australia, the 36-year-old’s last fight was against 2-14 fighter Waikato Falefahi in Townslville last June, where he was knocked down but won the six-rounder on points.
But Williams has now dedicated himself to boxing after his football career ended and went on a six-week training camp where he sparred the likes of world champ Tyson Fury, former WBO heavyweight champ Joseph Parker and European champion Tommy McCarthy.
“It’s been a pleasure to train Sonny,” he said during the pair’s press conference. “For a man who’s achieved so much in the sport world, he’s very, very hungry, very, very dedicated, almost obsessive about boxing, so it’s been a pleasure to train him.
“If I showed him something this morning, by the next time we met in the gym, I could see that he worked on it, practised it and thought about it, and was already improved at doing it. That taught me all I needed to know about Sonny and how serious he is about the game.
“You might think it’s crazy but my ambition for Sonny over the next few years is to build him into a world title contender and eventually fight for the world championship because that’s how good he can be. He has that natural ability but you combine that with the hunger he has, I think he can go all the way.”
Lee also told the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age said: “Is that the greatest story in sports history, if he fights for the heavyweight title?”
When’s it on?
The fight will take place on Wednesday night with the show beginning at 6pm.
How to watch?
The fight between Sonny Bill Williams and Barry Hall will take place at Sydney’s International Convention Centre.
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Originally published as Sonny Bill Williams vs Barry Hall boxing live updates