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Sunday, March 20, 2011

SBW laces up his gloves for quake appeal

SBW laces up his gloves for quake appeal

Last updated 05:00 20/03/2011
Sonny Bill Williams will return to the boxing ring in June – and the fight could become one of the biggest single fundraisers for the Christchurch earthquake appeal.

Sunday News understands league superstar-turned-All Blacks sensation Williams and Sky TV are negotiating final terms for a pay-per-view deal for his first fight in New Zealand. A June date has been fixed.

And Sky are ready to give their share of the takings directly to the Christchurch appeal.

Crusaders star and Christchurch resident Williams will himself also commit to handing over a six-figure cheque from his share of the television sales.

The fight is likely to be held in Auckland, with venues being scouted now, and Williams has already signalled he wants to step up in quality again.

While it will be some weeks before an opponent is confirmed, he is looking for a New Zealander with around 12 fights professional experience.

His last opponent, Sydney truck driver Scott Lewis, had a 3-4 record before taking on Williams.

Williams also had fights against hopelessly outmatched Kiwi novices Ryan Hogan and Gary Gurr in 2010 and 2009 respectively in Brisbane.

It's understood Sky, which sold it for $29.95 on pay per view, with Fox also selling similar packages in Australia, did reasonably well from the Lewis fight and was keen for another.

And the Williams camp were heartened, both by his performance, and on how well the Gold Coast bout did financially. It's understood they believe a Williams fight against a decent opponent in Auckland would draw a large crowd and produce good numbers on pay-per-view television.

Williams' manager, Khoder Nasser, declined to comment and said Williams would not be talking either.

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