All Black centre Sonny Bill Williams has made a shock announcement that he is planning a return to the boxing ring and will fight his next professional bout just months before the World Cup in New Zealand.
The rugby league convert made his Test match debut on New Zealand’s recent Grand Slam tour, with his trade mark off-loads earning him a man-of-the-match award in the All Blacks crushing 49-3 defeat of Scotland.
Williams is understood to have a clause in his contract with the New Zealand Rugby Union that allows him the freedom to step back into the boxing ring.
The 25-year-old knocked out fellow New Zealander Ryan ‘Hulk’ Hogan in June this year and will announce the details of his next fight on Wednesday.
“He moved around a bit and I would have liked it to be a bit more toe-to-toe,” Williams told AAP after knocking Hogan out in June.
“He got me with a couple of shots which was disappointing,” he added.
Williams is expected to play for the Crusaders in next year’s Super 15 and should the fight go ahead the team’s coach Todd Blackadder together with All Blacks coach Graham Henry will no doubt be horrified that one of their prize backline assets is risking serious injury in a sport where repeatedly punched in the face.