All Blacks centre Sonny Bill Williams will fight for New Zealand’s heavyweight boxing title three weeks before the start of the Super Rugby season.
Williams will face Richard Tutaki in Hamilton on 8 February. Williams is yet to fight a boxer of real quality and Tutaki’s record is hardly intimidating. The 33-year-old has a record of 19 wins and 21 defeats with one draw in 41 fights. He last fought in April after an 18-month break from boxing.
Nevertheless, Williams believes this will be more challenging than his last fight against 43-year-old Tongan Alipate Liava’a.
‘After the last fight I said to my manager I want to try and step up in class,’ said Williams. ‘I was offered the chance to fight for the belt and it’s not every day you get the opportunity.
‘I’m just really excited. Hopefully this is something I can add to my sporting achievements. As a boxer I’m always evolving and I think there’s a lot of improvement in me.’
Williams is undefeated in four bouts. He will play for the Chiefs in next year’s Super Rugby competition and for the All Blacks, but has been granted the freedom to box a limited number of fights during his one-year contract.