Not many people know, but rugby league and union superstar Sonny Bill Williams has not always been the rich man that some critics have claimed him to be.
Labelled ‘Money Bill’ by some, Williams spoke to Sky Sports about how, when he left the 13-a-side game to join French rugby union side Toulon, he was in a staggering $1m worth of debt.
“When I first left rugby league and went to rugby union, I was in $1m debt,” he told Sky Sports.
“To get out of my contract I had to pay a lot of money, which added up to about $1m.
“So my good friend who’s a three-time world boxing champion, Anthony Mundine, asked me to jump on the card (his 2009 debut against Gary Gurr) because I owed him the money essentially.
“So my boxing career started off just through necessity, but it lit a fire in me I haven’t been able to put out. I know I’m 36 now, but I’m very committed to doing boxing and giving it my all for the next 24 months, because I’ve done everything in rugby and rugby league.”
Williams most recently played a handful of games for the Sydney Roosters, but soon hung up his boots due to injury.
The 36-year-old had also took to the field for the Toronto Wolfpack in their inaugural and ill-fated maiden season in the Super League in 2020.