After months of preparation, promoters confirmed Thursday that Barry Hall and Sonny Bill Williams will come to blows in the ring.
After months of speculation, the fight is finally on.
Soccer stars turned boxers Barry Hall and Sonny Bill Williams will come to blows in a crossover bout on March 23.
It will take place in Sydney with Williams looking to extend his unbeaten record of eight fights against Hall who he said was “far from my class”.
“For the first time in my professional athletic career, I’m completely focused on boxing,” Williams said.
“I know Barry Hall is a very tough man and his debut proved he has a ton of skill, but he’s inexperienced in the ring and nowhere near my class level.
“This fight against Hall starts the final chapter of my athletic career and I’m going to take this win and move on to other big fights over the next 24-36 months.”
Hall, who drew with Paul Gallen in 2019 in his last fight, said Williams had never faced “anyone of my size or skill set”.
“I showed against Paul Gallen that I could go the distance and go strong,” Hall said.
“Sonny is an extremely talented individual, but he’s never faced anyone of my size or skill set. The boy has put everything on a silver platter in his boxing career to date.
“Sonny Boy made a mistake taking this fight, I intend to finish his boxing career and open up bigger fighting opportunities for myself.”
Representing the All-Blacks and two-time NRL winner, Williams is the more experienced boxer of the two.
He has won all eight of his professional fights, most recently beating Waikato Falefehi by unanimous decision in June last year.
Prior to that, Williams had not fought since 2015, opting instead to spend the late 2010s focusing on his rugby and league career.
Hall, who captained the Sydney Swans until becoming AFL Premier in 2005, has only fought professionally once before in that draw with Gallen.
Despite his lack of experience, the four-time All-Australian earned a reputation as a badass during his AFL days.
He infamously punched Brent Staker in the jaw during a game between Sydney and West Coast in the 2008 season, knocking out the Eagle and earning himself a seven-game ban.