All Blacks midfielder Sonny Bill Williams has announced details of his next boxing bout, which will take place during the halftime break at the final of the Rugby World Cup.
Auckland’s Eden Park will host the bout on Sunday October 23rd with the opponent yet to be determined, he said at a press conference today.
“I’m looking for another credible opponent,” Williams said.
The fight will take place during the half time interval, with rounds to be 2minutes long rather than the normal 3min in order to get the bout over before the second half.
Concerns over the timing of the event have been expressed by the media with many claiming that if the All Blacks were to be in the final this would be a distraction. However, Sonny Bill denied these claims ” I am committed to the All Blacks winning the World Cup. Boxing keeps me sharp and if we are playing in this game I will be ultra sharp, having just completed a boxing match before I come on in the second half to cause havoc against Aussie. I have spoken with Graham Henry and he is happy with me doing a little boxing at half time – it keeps me focussed. If he needs to give me any instructions he can do so between rounds”
Williams is unbeaten in his previous three fights against Garry Gurr, Ryan Hogan and Scott Lewis.
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Sonny Bill Williams has announced that he has had a spiritual conversion to Islam. While rumours of the 25-year-old sporting superstar’s religious beliefs have circulated for some time, especially after he requested Jade Stadium be realigned to face Mecca, this is the first time this issue has been reported publically.
Williams conversion makes him the first Muslim to play for the All Blacks and All Black coach Graham Henry would not return our calls earlier today for his opinion. However, Henry is believed to be particularly concerned that the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when followers are forbidden from eating between dawn and sunset, falls in August this year – when the All Blacks play three Tri Nations matches. It is during the final build-up to the Rugby World Cup.
However, of greater concern is the name that Sonny Bill Williams may adopt as part of his new religion. When boxing great, Cassius Clay converted to Islam he changed his name to Muhammad Ali. At this stage it is believed that Williams may become Muhammad SBW or even the catchy Sonny Muhammad. This would pose a problem for the crusaders who like to have the names of their players on their backs and may force the t-shirt designers to start his name on the front and wrap around the back.
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The NZRFU have just announced that All Black coach Graham Henry is going to be taking part in the TVNZ show Dancing with the Stars later this year. Graham Henry has taken a lot of public criticism about the decision, especially considering he has a groin strain which many people believe will be aggravated through aggressive dancing. With so many people questioning his loyalty to the All Blacks in World Cup year, Graham Henry talked with Radio Sport host Tony Veitch earlier today to explain his position.
“I think a lot of people are jumping to conclusions. The main thing was me doing DWTS wouldn’t have been any less time spent on the sidelines or if I didn’t do dancing. That’s what everyone needs to understand,” he told Radio Sport’s Tony Veitch.
“When I’m in the ring on the dance floor I can’t even feel it (his weak groin). I take all precautions with dancing, especially my signature dance, the Tango. People have jumped to conclusions saying I broke my leg groin and I’m doing dancing but that’s hardly the case.
“I’m sure the New Zealand Rugby Union wouldn’t allow me to do it if it was going to jeopardise my rugby.”
Henry says he has been consulting with All Blacks doctor Deb Robinson throughout his dancing training.
“She’s fine with everything and how everything is going. The plan was for me to get back and to be able to go straight into full training but I think it’s taken a couple of extra weeks longer than was thought. It’s just normal with these kind of injuries but it’s really a big concern,” he said.
“I talked with all of them (All Blacks staff and players) at the end of last game. The day after I went and got a scan and found out about the results. Straight away we had a big talk and we all came to the conclusion that it was not going to be a problem.”
Henry has the possibility of another dance before the World Cup in September, if he feels it would be beneficial.
Sonny Bill Williams has come out and defended his boxing match this Saturday saying that he could make the All Blacks even with a broken leg. While most current All Blacks are training madly, playing in England or working hard for the upcoming season, Sonny Bill Williams has decided to forgo any rugby development and do a little boxing on the side.
This latest move by williams has caused outrage amongst the New Zealand public and mixed reactions in the media. For many people, Ozy Mandias included, Sonny Bill Williams seems to be taking the mickey out of New Zealand rugby in such a crucial year. Like a cheating romeo he talks an excellent game, constantly going on about about wanting nothing more than to win the World Cup with the All Blacks. Yet while words are only minutes passed his lips, he is off flirting with every other sport known to man or organising another boxing match. you can’t have your cake and eat it too, SBW.
Whatever happens in this situation the most obvious things here is that Sonny Bill Williams will lose respect as a person. Even if he is part of a World Cup winning team he has shown the Bulldog fans his cards and is now showing the All Blacks his cards. While his intentions may be fine, and his attitude fully focused on the All Blacks, perception is reality. Sadly the perception that Williams is creating is one of ‘stuff you I will do what I want.’
With the rugby world shaking following the Sonny Bill Williams show at Murrayfield, Graham Henry has reportedly given his new wonder kid some biblical advice. It is believed that upon seeing Sonny Bill in fine form, Henry went back to his Hotel, opened his complementary Gideon Bible and thanked the Lord for this wonderful addition to his team. It was here that I believe he stumbled upon Genesis Chapter 1 v28, “Be fruitful and Multiply”.
After reading that passage there was a distinct change in our coaches thought processes. Like a poorly researched Brian Tamaki exegesis, he took this obscure verse and decided to turn the rugby world on it head by order his new star to follow it to the letter.
Henry’s obvious thinking is that if Sonny Bill Williams was fruitful, and started to multiply, then in 20 years time we could have an entire All Black team full of Sonny Bill William’s. Imagine if you will 15 of these hunking great masses, staring down the opposition at the haka and then with one right hand running along fly swatting the opposition away. It would be fantastic.
Reaction to this idea from the NZRFU have been mixed, according to sources for Ozy Mandias Warning. Some of the more liberal members are right behind Henry, in his rather crude human genetic project. Some of these liberals see Williams like a racehorse and want to send him out to pasture asap. Pleasingly there is a more conservative group at the NZRFU who have chosen a more ethical approach to this issue. At this stage a compromise has been reached where the NZRFU is searching for a young Catholic lass willing to child up to 18 children over the next 18 years, all in the name of rugby.
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Graham Henry has revealed that selecting his latest All Black side was the hardest of his career. While many people might assume this has to do with selecting the right balance between forwards and backs, Henry has broken his silence on the unwritten ‘tattoo quota’ which the All Blacks have in their selection policy.
“Within the All Blacks we try and have a large number of tattoos to strike fear into the heart of the opposition. The difficult for a modern day All Black coach is making sure we are not above or below our unwritten quota”, Henry explained.”With a number of our big names not having tattoos, McCaw, Carter, Thorne we have to balance that up with tattoo heavy players such a Nonu, Kaino and Tialata.”
Henry went on to explain that when they decided to leave Tialata out the tattoo quota was in danger in being breached. Apparently things reached crisis point in the NZRFU when Daniel Braid and was then selected, further tipping the balance into the ‘naturals’. But for not the first time this season it was Sonny Bill Williams to the rescue. With an estimated 12 sq feet of tattooed skin on his body he has manged to to bring the tattoo numbers into equilibrium within the All Black squad.
In related news it has yet to be confirmed if coaches Henry, Smith and Hanson tattoo’s are included within the All Black quota. Rumours that all three have identical images on their left buttocks have not been confirmed or denied but rumours that the three get a tattoo every time they beat Aussie have been circulating for some time.
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