Kissing goodbye his beloved young family, flying to the other side of the world in the midst of a pandemic, only to get pummelled by the baddest man on the planet.
It’s a hard ‘no’ for most sane people but for Sonny Bill Williams it is a golden ticket on his quest to conquer a third sport in the final chapter of a remarkable athletic career.
Williams jetted out out of Sydney for the United Kingdom last night to take up a training camp invitation from heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury and Kiwi boxing star Joseph Parker.
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Assuming Williams survives those sparring sessions, it will leave him about as battle hardened as one can get ahead of the March 23 ‘Turf War’ bout with AFL great Barry Hall.
He had to get permission from his wife before signing up for the Sydney fight and Fury camp but now it is all systems go for SBW.
“Training alongside them, getting a few rounds of sparring and getting beaten up for a couple of sessions – it will really put me in good stead,” Williams told Wide World of Sports at yesterday’s fight announcement.
“When that opportunity arose I couldn’t say no, just to learn from the best. It shows my commitment to this sport, and this fight. He (Fury) is the best way in the world at the moment, the best fighter of our generation, and being able to rub shoulders with him… just to see his mentality.”
Williams has a 8-0 boxing record, including three knockouts, and this will be his first fight since June last year.
He is vowing to leave no stone unturned in his return to the ring, and felt he made major gains in camp with Parker before his victory over Derek Chisora in December.
“The experience and lessons I got from being in camp with Joe Parker for that week, him and (trainer) Andy Lee, was invaluable.
“I came back and felt that it really helped me in the boxing ring so to be able to go over there and rub shoulders with the great that is Tyson Fury, as well as Joe Parker, will be special. I see nothing but benefits from it.
“No stone will be left unturned on this journey.”
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