It’s no wonder that Sonny Bill Williams initially refused to fight Mark Hunt.
The ‘Super Samoan’ has made a career out of knocking people out, with a solid reputation as one of the toughest in the world.
But for Williams, it wasn’t just the fear of getting hurt that made him hesitate
Sonny Bill Williams will fight Mark Hunt in a heavyweight bout on November 5th. Watch live and exclusively on Event Stan
“I’m a proud Pacific Islander and fighting a Polynesian is out of bounds, it’s illegal,” Williams told Wide World of Sports ahead of the Nov. 5 showdown.
“For me it’s a personal thing. I want to see my Pacific brothers win and I’ve come a long way and I get satisfaction from that.
“There are a lot of bullies out there trying to drag their fellows down.”
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SBW dragons Hall in the first round stop
But with Williams keen to stay fit after Barry Hall’s March collapse, he took the rugby player to task.
“We were just chatting, talking about names,” Wallabies star Quade Cooper told WWOS.
“And I said ‘What about Mark Hunt? Both Samoans, it’s great for your people to be able to bring them back. It’s a credible name and you need to keep working. Mark’s a great hero.”
Eventually Williams was sold and a date was set for the fight at the Aware Theater in Sydney’s World Convention Centre.
“Quade planted that seed and I’m starting to see the good things that will come out of it,” Williams said.
“If it sells well, which I think it will, it will be a good night for both of us – helping him and his family as well. We respect each other and we will both come in safe. Prepare and look to put on the show. “
Cooper, who also boxed and played rugby, said MMA champion Hunt would give it another go despite his progress.
“Being in the ring with a big name like Mark – some people will write him off but anyone who knows the show knows he’s one of the best to ever do it,” he said.
“Very dangerous and that’s what’s fun about it.
Williams has a 9-0 professional record and trainer Andy Lee is so impressed that he could one day fight for the world heavyweight title.
Those words made Williams happy but he was in no mood to talk himself out of it.
“He keeps saying nasty things like that but not at all. Andy’s a great guy and we’ve been on good terms since my last fight.”
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Turf Fight: Sonny Bill Williams vs Barry Hall headlines a big night of boxing at Sydney’s Aware Super Theater