Sonny Bill Williams returns to the UK to exhibit boxing skills

Sonny Bill Williams has returned to the UK for the first time since leaving Toronto Wolfpack in a surprise initiative.

Williams, who turned out for the Wolfpack in the 2020 Super League season before the Canadian club exited the top flight, has been in the North West showing off his boxing skills in the build-up to Joe Parker’s highly-publicised fight against Derek Chisora this weekend.

The former cross-code wonder star looks to be firmly in the Parker camp as he trained with Parker and his entourage.

Williams himself has experience in boxing, winning the New Zealand Heavyweight Boxing title and accruing eight undefeated bouts.

The Kiwi has also released an autobiography recently, titled: Sonny Bill Williams: You Can’t Stop the Sun from Shining, which sees Williams bare all in an incredible memoir of the life of an icon.

As a rising NRL star, Williams revealed he turned to smoking and sleeping tablets to deal with the pressure.

That pressure was especially gruelling after a 2005 drink-driving incident saw Williams being thrust into the limelight to make a public apology.

“Suddenly, I was a public figure,” he writes. “How is a shy boy supposed to cope with that? That’s not in the script either. And I had no one to guide me.

“So I found my own ways to deal with it. By having a smoke before I went out or a couple of sleeping tablets to relax me. I was trying to take the fear away.”

“One time I went on a bender that lasted from Friday night to Monday morning.

“The only reason I came home is I knew I had a surgery appointment at 11am. I don’t remember anything about the operations except waking up having my girlfriend crying next to the bed and the doc really gave it to me, telling me I had so many drugs in my system I could have died.”

Since retiring from rugby league, Williams has returned to the boxing ring.

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