Sonny Bill Williams and Mark Hunt are set to meet in the boxing ring.
Hunt and Williams will square off in a heavyweight bout in Sydney on November 5, making their respective returns to the sport in a blockbuster clash between the two sporting superstars.
It will be the 10th professional bout for former rugby and league superstar Williams as he looks to continue to make his name as a boxer. Currently boasting a 9-0 record with four wins by stoppage, he was last in action against former AFL star Barry Hall in March, where he claimed the win in the first round.
For Hunt, it will be his first bout since dropping a unanimous decision to former NRL star Paul Gallen over six rounds in December of 2020, and he has recently been training in Thailand.
Williams and Gallen have long been linked for a potential bout, while Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn earlier this year suggested American entertainer-turned-boxer Jake Paul look at Williams as a potential opponent.
Gallen said he warned Sonny Bill he better get a move on if he wanted to lock horns before his retirement.
“And maybe there was a make-up lady in the room, maybe we were on our own, I can’t remember,” Gallen said.
“But I said ‘Sonny, if we’re going to fight we have to organise it soon because I’m retiring next year.”
“And he says ‘what do you mean?’
“I said, ‘mate, I’m turning 41 next year, I’m definitely retiring’.
“I then explained to Sonny while I was contracted with No Limit, I was allowed to fight him so long as it wasn’t within 10 weeks of a No Limit event.
“I then said No Limit had pencilled me in for a fight in December, 2022 – which will be my last — so we needed to get it sorted for at least 10 weeks before then.
“Sonny says ‘bro, bro, bro’ … he always says bro,” Gallen said . “He says ‘bro, it only takes six weeks to get ready for a fight’.
“And I said ‘bro, I’m retiring … do you understand?’
“From that day on I never heard another word.”
Instead, the 37-year-old will find himself against a man who is no stranger to combat sports, with Hunt having a long and successful career in kickboxing as well as mixed martial arts, winning a prestigious K1 Grand Prix and challenging for heavyweight gold in the UFC.
While Williams comes into the bout with an unbeaten record in nine fights, Hunt is without a win in three professional boxing bouts, with two losses and a draw.
This article originally appeared in the New Zealand Herald and was reproduced with permission
Originally published as Sonny Bill Williams and Mark Hunt to square off in heavyweight boxing bout