Sonny Bill Williams is eyeing a fight with three-time Australian heavyweight champion Bob Mirovic before returning to the Chiefs next year.
It is understood that Williams' agent, Khoder Nasser, has been in talks with Mirovic for the past two months.
Nasser has been attempting to plot a path to make the Mirovic match-up seem credible.
Williams' return to the ring was always going to be a touchy subject, but boxing is a lucrative avenue to supplement the 28-year-old's earnings. A clash with Mirovic after the Rugby League World Cup would provide a welcome payday before joining the Chiefs.
"We have made no decisions about anything," Nasser told Sunday News. "When the NRL season is finished then we will look at what happens next. Right now the total focus is on the league. Straight after that we'll assess what's in front of us. Everybody can speculate, our focus is on league."
The 28-year-old's win over South African veteran Francois Botha in August last year was tainted by controversy after two rounds were cut from the schedule. After that shambolic situation, which saw Williams claim the WBA international heavyweight belt, Nasser realised taking on the inactive Mirovic, who has not fought for two years, would be a tough sell so he tried organising a "warm-up" fight in New Zealand for the 47-year-old.
Sunday News understands Nasser wants Williams to fight in Hamilton in late January before the Super Rugby season. Williams is expected to confirm his return to the defending champion Chiefs when the Sydney Roosters' NRL finals run ends.
"I've been speaking with Khoder Nasser about this fight with Sonny Bill once a week for the past two months," Mirovic told the Sunday News. "The plan was for me to fight in the first week of October, look good and win," Mirovic said. "Khoder wants me to fight and win. That way he can sell the fight."
Despite being barred by the Australian National Boxing Federation in 2011, Mirovic attempted to secure a fight at the Howick Rec Centre in Manukau, Auckland, on October 5, but New Zealand Professional Boxing Association manager Pat Leonard blocked the move.
The Croatian-born Australian, a boxing veteran of 26 years, claims a CT scan cleared him of any serious brain trauma but his licence was revoked purely because of his age.
"I had a scan and everything was fine," he said. "There was no medical or neurological reason for them to suspend my licence. They said I was getting too old."
"I've been training hard," Mirovic said. "I've said to Khoder I know I haven't fought for two years and everyone will say Bob is past it but I sparred Sonny Bill before his fight in New Zealand last year. He's fit and doing OK but I'll knock him outSince 2006 Mirovic (31-22) has lost six of his last nine fights. That includes an eight-round KO to Shane Cameron in 2008 and two losses to former league player John Hopoate. But he's had a taste of Williams' ring nous and remains supremely confident he can hand the dual-code superstar his first loss in six pro fights."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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