Sonny Bill Williams has emerged as one of the frontrunners to fight Jake Paul in the YouTube star’s next boxing match.
Speculation around Paul’s next opponent gathered traction recently after the American mentioned a ‘shortlist’ of potential next opponents – and Paul is not short of options. Despite his limited experience in professional boxing, everyone knows that you can expect a big payday if you can get a fight against Jake Paul.
The ‘hit-list’ of six fighters includes six famous names from the combat sports world – one of whom is a well-known rugby player. A strong candidate is boxer Tommy Fury, who should have fought the Youtuber last year. Sadly, an injury forced a cancellation.
Also on the list are two boxing icons in Floyd Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya.
In addition, UFC legends Anderson Silva and Michael Bisping are rumoured to potentially be in the running to fight Paul.
Last but not least, former rugby player Sonny Bill Williams could have a match against Jake Paul. The pair’s representatives have already held talks.
Sonny Bill Williams confirms Jake Paul talks
Speaking to Australian outlet Nine and Stan Sports, Williams confirmed that he was looking to return to the ring in the summer. He mentioned discussions with Jake Paul’s personnel.
“I’m maybe looking at August, getting back in the ring,” said the New Zealander. “Jake Paul, his people have reached out to mine, and they’re talking, so who knows. The main thing is I’m very excited and very grateful to be back in the ring, on Stan, boxing.”
The potential fight is one that Williams believes he can win. He feels that the YouTuber may underestimate his ability.
“If he does decide to take that fight, he would have underestimated me quite a bit by watching old footage,” Williams said to the Sydney Morning Herald.
“I feel in the last six months I’ve improved tenfold, so it’s the confidence I have in my ability.”
Now that a fight with Jake Paul is edging closer, fans want to know who Sonny Bill Williams is and what he’s done to earn this payday.
Rugby World Cup winner turned boxer
The New Zealander is an iconic figure in the world of rugby. One of few players to have achieved success in both Rugby League and Union, Williams’ phenomenal talent took him right to the top of both sports.
Starting in rugby league, Williams made an immediate impact. He won the NRL title with the Canterbury Bulldogs in 2004 – winning International Newcomer of the Year too. Nine years later, Williams captured his second NRL title, this time with the Roosters.
However, the New Zealander was arguably even more successful in rugby union. Internationally, Williams earned 58 caps for the All-Blacks, scoring 13 tries. Incredibly, he only lost in five of his 58 appearances for New Zealand’s national side.
Playing predominantly as a centre, Williams reached the pinnacle of international rugby with the All-Blacks. He was part of the squads that won the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cups. In addition, Williams featured in New Zealand’s run to the semi-finals in 2019.
His incredible rugby ability aside, Sonny Bill Williams is also a talented boxer. He actually began boxing during his rugby career, using it as a means of extra income.
Fighting in the heavyweight division, Williams currently holds a professional record of nine wins and zero losses. In addition, four of his wins have come via knockout. Most recently, Williams cruised to victory over Aussie Rules footballer Barry Hall, winning in the first round.
Jake Paul will face a tough challenge should he take to the ring against this Rugby World Cup winner.
Featured image credit: Getty