Sonny Bill Williams
The essence of professional sport is competition. Maybe also beer consumption. But no amount of beer washes down the bitter taste of paying to see part-time fighters beat up haplessly mismatched opponents. That’s if you can even afford a cold one after shelling out forty bucks on the pay-per-view (PPV).
With Wallaby Quade Cooper announcing this week that he will put his rugby career on ice to moonlight as a boxer, it seems the Australian public will be subjected to yet another painful, expensive mismatch. Cooper, who is set to make his professional debut (with no amateur background) on the undercard of Sonny Bill Williams’ February 8 fight in Brisbane, is only one of a parade of footballers who’ve soured the sweet science with their presence in recent years.
Williams, who shares manager Khoder Nasser with Cooper, is a case in point. Since his debut in 2009, he’s fought five times against opponents whose combined record was 18 wins, 19 losses and a draw. Three of those five wins have come within two rounds.
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Today we learned that All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams, already infamous for abandoning the Bulldogs and running off to France in 2008, is set to walk out on union and return to the NRL next year.
To be fair, Sonny Bill is hardly sneaking out of the country in the dead of night this time. He deserves credit for at least behaving like a big boy. But the whole situation still reeks of déjà vu.
Williams stands to pocket a tidy $2 million for a single season’s work next year, through a combination of rugby in Japan, boxing in South Africa and league, probably at the Roosters.
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