SBW decks Hall with fists of fury, eyes off Gallen bout

It took no less than 120 seconds for Sonny Bill Williams to knock Barry Hall out, in what was a clear mismatch at Sydney’s Aware Super Theatre on Wednesday night.

The cross-code superstar was the aggressor from the outset, and knocked Hall down three times inside the first two minutes. The third knockdown was a clean blow, which saw the referee stop the fight. Hall was never in the contest.

Sonny Bill Williams blasts a punch at Barry Hall.Credit:Flavio Brancaleone

“For me, the glory is being able to propel the sport and help youngsters achieve their dreams,” Williams said in the ring after the fight.

The former All Blacks star then set his sights on Paul Gallen – who was watching on in the crowd – when he was asked what’s next.

“There’s talk of Gallen, so, maybe Gallen, but at the same time, for me, I’m a well-rounded person.

“I need to give back. I can’t wait to get home and see my beautiful little kids.”

Barry Hall battles unsuccessfully to keep Sonny Bill Williams away.Credit:Flavio Brancaleone

Earlier, the son of former champion Anthony Mundine – Rahim – started his professional career in style against Lepani Levatia, winning by unanimous decision.

But the 21-year-old isn’t setting his sights on a professional career any time soon, declaring a Wests Tigers NRL debut as his priority for 2022.

“I’ll try do (boxing) in the off-seasons, for footy, but my main goal right now is to crack it in league,” he said post fight.

“I had a bit of a down year last year. I was playing NSW Cup – I debuted in NSW Cup at 19, but got injured early in the season. I’m just here to start my 2022 off with a bang.”

With his father Anthony in his corner, Mundine landed some clean punches in the first round – which brought the crowd to its feet – but Levatia held on.

“It’s a nice round for his first round in professional boxing, boys,” Australian boxing legend Danny Green said after the first round.

Anthony was so nervous in the corner of “CJ” that he couldn’t even commentate when asked to do so by the Stan Event team at the end of the first round.

Levatia settled and gave Mundine a fight, but the decision was only ever going one way.

“A good experience for me, given I’ve never had any amateur or pro fights,” Mundine told reporters after the fight. “My first real fight, so a good learning curve for me and I want to do it again in the future.

“If I ever go to boxing full-time I’ll probably be much lighter than what I am right now. I thought I handled the occasion well.”

As for his father’s advice from his corner? “He was alright, just (kept saying) ‘work on the inside,’” Mundine said. “I’ve never really worked on the inside before, I’m more of an outside boxer.”

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