SONNY BILL WILLIAMS wants to step up the calibre of fighter he will take on in his first New Zealand boxing bout -- and could fight a third time this year before the Rugby World Cup.
Williams’ management are looking to match him with a Kiwi fighter with at least a dozen professional fights under his belt when he headlines a Sky TV-promoted earthquake charity fight in Auckland in June.
While that news might alarm All Blacks management, there is nothing it can do about it. The NZRU agreed to the fight clause when it signed Williams from French club Toulon. Previously, it was believed Williams’ could fight twice a year. But it has emerged the contract actually allows three bouts annually.
The first happened on the Gold Coast last January when Williams won a points decision over Sydney truck driver Scott Lewis who had a 3-4 losing record coming into the bout. Prior to that Williams had dealt to two Kiwi novices in Gary Gurr and Ryan Hogan in Brisbane.
Immediately after the Lewis fight, Williams said he wanted to fight more experienced and skilled fighters and it appears he will get his wish in Auckland where venues are currently being scouted.
That will make for some nervous All Blacks insiders ahead of the Tri Nations tournament and World Cup.
Williams’ management would not comment on the fight yesterday. Khoder Nasser also said Williams, who turned out for the Crusaders against the Highlanders in Dunedin last night, wouldn’t be commenting on the fight either.
But sources told Sunday News that negotiations with Sky are almost complete.
Sky did well out of last January’s fight against Lewis and Williams’ management also believe a well-matched opponent in a fight in Auckland would draw a big crowd and attractive pay-per-view TV figures.
The fight could become one of the single biggest fundraisers for the Christchurch earthquake appeal.
Sky will donate its profits and Williams intends making a minimum $100,000 donation from his share of TV sales.
- © Fairfax NZ News