Barry Hall has landed the primary blow forward of his heavyweight conflict with Sonny Bill Williams on Wednesday evening, headbutting the previous dual-code rugby star at Tuesday’s weigh-in after declaring his intention to say victory by knockout.
The former Sydney Swans hardman has made a profession of being a determine opposition followers like to hate, and towards Williams, the previous World Cup-winning All Black and NRL champion, he has accepted he can be preventing towards an away crowd.
“There are a lot of people who don’t want me to win this fight, I understand that,” Hall stated. “There’s a lot of money lost if he loses, I understand that also. That’s why I am predicting a knockout and that’s why I need a knockout. I am looking forward to it.
Muted applause met Hall’s arrival on the scales in Darling Harbour on Tuesday afternoon, while the crowd was far more vocal for the entrance of his opponent. If Hall is to play the role of the villain on Wednesday night, he was well past the method acting stage at the weigh-in.
As the fighters went head to head for the traditional pre-fight photo opportunity, something caused Hall’s temper to boil over and he pushed his head into Williams’, causing the Kiwi to stumble backwards before lunging at Hall, prompting retired boxer Danny Green to intervene and separate the pair.
After tensions were diffused, 36-year-old Williams admitted there were a few butterflies in his stomach on the eve of his first fight in nine months, but he insisted that was more excitement than fear.
“Of course I am nervous, but that’s a sign that I am ready to go,” Williams stated. “[Today I will] Just chill, watch a bit of Netflix, chill out, FaceTime the kids and then get ready for war tomorrow. ”
Williams is undefeated in eight profession fights and has been tipped as a potential title contender by his trainer, Andy Lee. The 45-year-old Hall enters his second struggle of his profession and first since his draw with Paul Gallen in 2019. The former AFL star enters virtually 12kg lighter than his opponent, notching 97.8 kg on the scales. Williams weighed in at 109.1 kg.
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