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Renowned trainer Andy Lee tips Sonny Bill Williams to fight for the heavyweight world title


“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.”

If Williams fulfils Lee’s daring prediction, he’ll go down as certainly one of the best athletes of all time. Williams has already gained two rugby World Cups with New Zealand and two NRL premierships, with the Bulldogs and Roosters.

“Is that the greatest story in sports history, if he fights for the heavyweight title?”

Trainer Andy Lee on the prospect of Sonny Bill Williams preventing for a world title.

Asked to reply to Lee’s feedback, Williams mentioned: “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.”

As a part of his preparations for the Hall fight, Williams frolicked in an abroad coaching camp with Fury and Parker. So what about the prospect of going through them, or somebody of their ilk, for a heavyweight title?

“That’s not for me to say,” Williams mentioned. “I never thought I would win two rugby World Cups, I never thought I’d win NRL titles, be voted best rugby league player in the world, that type of stuff when I was 15.

“But what I did now is that you will get the best me work-ethic wise. That’s what I’m doing.”

Williams admitted he was initially apprehensive when given the alternative to rub shoulders with Fury and Parker. However that have, together with sparring classes in opposition to high quality opponents in Ireland, have given Williams confidence he can be an excessive amount of for Hall.


“I remember we sparred against a European cruiserweight champion who had just lost his belt, Tommy McCarthy,” Williams mentioned.

“Rocking up there, I was a bit nervous, but then I held my own, it wasn’t like I got smashed. Going through those experiences you gain confidence.

“It’s about putting yourself in uncomfortable places. Yes, it hurts and will be extremely hard, but growth will come from it.

“Going to league, union and even jumping in the boxing ring through some stages of my career, looking back in hindsight the biggest victories as a sportsperson are when I have gone into those places, put myself out there.”

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