He’s won it all in both codes, but could Sonny Bill Williams become heavyweight champion of the world?
That’s a possible aim, according to Williams’ trainer Andy Lee ahead of the New Zealand international’s bout with Barry Hall.
Williams will take part in Wednesday night’s ‘Turf War’ against Barry Hall, a pay-per-view offering from Stan Event, at Sydney’s Aware Super Theatre on Wednesday.
“I’m not blowing smoke; my ambition with Sonny is to one day fight for the heavyweight championship,” Lee told the Sydney Morning Herald & The Age.
“It is well within his reach. With the progression he has made in the last 6-8 weeks, the way I see him going in the future, with the right fights and the right training he certainly has the ability.
“Is that the greatest story in sports history, if he fights for the heavyweight title?
“The blueprint is there. He’s a different person altogether, but you’ve seen with [boxer and social media personality] Jake Paul, because of his profile – and Sonny’s is just as big – that will generate interest and interest will generate revenue. With revenue, real fighters will want to fight Sonny. They will see how good he is and they will want to test themselves against him, knowing they will get well paid for it.
“If Sonny wins the fight against Barry Hall, it might be a stinker of a performance and people will be, ‘You’re crazy saying that.’ Trust me, with progression and time he’ll get more comfortable in the ring. You’ll see.”
Williams then responded to the comments.
“I look at Andy as one of the best trainers in the world. How can you not get confidence from that?
“Do I believe it? Time will tell. I just concentrate on the next day to get better and better. For me, it’s a great boost in the arm of confidence for such an astute man in the game to say that.
“I understand, just like rugby and rugby league, there’s a journey of ups and downs, a rollercoaster. But what underlines that is discipline, persistence and hard work. That’s what I’ve got in spades.”