Boxing: Sonny Bill Williams set to face AFL great Barry Hall in return to ring

  • 17/02/2020

Sonny Bill Williams' highly anticipated return to the boxing ring is looking more likely, with a fight against AFL great Barry Hall on the cards.

Hall is eyeing a superfight with Williams, once the English Super League season comes to an end in October. 

Former Premiership winner Hall fought against former rugby league hardman Paul Gallen last November, with their bout ending in a controversial draw.

Hall's promoter Danny Green told The Daily Telegraph that they've spoken to Williams' management team and things are going smoothly. 

"We've spoken to [SBW's manager] Khoder [Nasser] and they're on board. We'll do it in Sydney later this year, when Sonny Bill is available.

Barry Hall is punched by Paul Gallen.
Barry Hall is punched by Paul Gallen. Photo credit: AAP

"I've done two previous deals with Khoder and it's always been a handshake.

"I trust him. Barry's keen, they're keen."

Green had been trying to organise a rematch with Gallen, but negotiations stalled. 

"Barry's going to move on and fight Sonny Bill instead," Green added. 

Speaking on the eve of the Hall and Gallen fight, Williams expressed his interest in facing the winner in 2020. 

"I've had that [boxing] clause throughout my contracts," Williams said at his first Toronto Wolfpack appearance. "Whether it will be Paul Gallen or Barry Hall, time will tell.

"I'm pretty interested in that fight. There has been a lot of talk from both camps - I am not sure who'll win.

"Barry has been out of the ring since he was 18 and is 42 now. Gal has been fighting consistently for the last few years and that may give him the advantage."

Williams hasn't fought in the ring professionally since 2015, when he held the NZ heavyweight title, but in 2018, he had an exhibition bout against Australian reality-TV personality Stu Laundy in Sydney to raise money for homeless charities. 

The 34-year-old has made a successful return to rugby league, playing in two of the Wolfpack's three games this season. 

He's currently in New Zealand, after his wife gave birth to the couple's fourth child on Friday.