'Hasn’t boxed that much': Barry Hall ready to KO Sonny Bill Williams

Andrew Reid
·3-min read
Pictured here, AFL legend Barry Hall and Kiwi cross-code superstar Sonny Bill Williams.
A deal has been agreed for Barry Hall to fight Sonny Bill Williams at the end of 2020. Pic: AAP

Barry Hall is set to go toe-to-toe with Sonny Bill Williams in a boxing ring at the end of the year and the AFL legend insists he "has what it takes" to knock out the All Blacks great.

Williams, who will likely rejoin the Sydney Roosters for the remainder of the NRL season, is yet to lose a fight in his seven professional bouts.

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The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a deal for the fight has been agreed between Williams' manager Khoder Nasser and Hall's representative, Danny Green.

The bout is set to take place in Sydney after the conclusion of the NRL season, with Parramatta's Bankwest Stadium mooted as a likely venue.

It's understood the blockbuster bout could land both fighters more than $2 million if it does go ahead.

Hall - who was involved in a controversial draw with NRL legend Paul Gallen in 2019 - says he rates his chances against Williams, despite admitting that the cross-code superstar has a "lot of tools" at his disposal.

Pictured here, the arms of Barry Hall and Paul Gallen are both held aloft after their draw in the boxing ring.
Barry Hall and Paul Gallen fought out a controversial draw back in November, 2019. Pic: AAP

“I’ve got nothing but respect for him. But, in saying that, I think I’ve got the tools to knock him over,” Hall told the Herald.

“It’s a great fight, a lot of people will be interested in it. Hopefully, people have seen with me and Gal (Paul Gallen) that I can move around a little bit and it will be a competitive fight.

“Hopefully it comes off, it will be great. I would be honoured to do it.

“We watched his last fight, he’s good for someone who hasn’t boxed that much.

“He’s obviously a great talent and great athlete. He’s got hitting power and he’s fit, that’s half the battle for a heavyweight.

“He’s got a lot of tools. In saying that, I watched the fight and thought ‘Yep, OK, I’ve got what it takes.

“We’ll soon see.”

While Williams has more experience in the ring - seven professional bouts compared to Hall's one - the 35-year-old hasn't fought since his unanimous decision win over Chancey Welliver in Sydney in 2015.

The Kiwi star did compete in a charity fight against Bachelorette winner Stu Laundy in 2018, however, it was not a sanctioned contest.

Pending injuries from his likely stint in the NRL, Williams would go into the showdown with Hall supremely fit.

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Williams' NRL return is another step closer with the ARL Commission open to considering exemptions for players to hold NRL and English Super League contracts at the same time.

Under current rules players cannot be contracted to two clubs, and nor can they be loaned from the ESL to NRL clubs.

That means Williams would have to terminate his $5 million deal with the Toronto Wolfpack for 2021 to return to the NRL.

Seen here, Sonny Bill Williams with the NRL trophy he won with the Roosters in 2013.
Sonny Bill Williams is weighing up a sensational return to the Roosters. Pic: Getty

However, ARLC chairman Peter V'landys says exemptions are being considered given the exceptional circumstances of the Wolfpack pulling out of this year's ESL due to COVID-19 constraints.

Williams tweeted on Friday night that he was leaving his Manchester base, and was ready for two weeks in quarantine.

He is expected to receive permission from border authorities to arrive in the country for work, aided by the fact his wife is an Australian citizen.

The Roosters have released winger Asu Kepaoa, creating further room in their roster.

But cap space will not be an issue given they already had room and Williams' deal will be for just three months.

He is not expected to play before round 15, given he will need to train after leaving quarantine.