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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sonny Bill pledges $100,000 to appeal

Sonny Bill pledges $100,000 to appeal

Last updated 07:46 07/04/2011
Rugby star Sonny Bill Williams will donate $100,000 from his next boxing bout to the Christchurch earthquake appeal.

Sky TV, which will screen the June bout on pay-per-view, has also pledged to donate its earnings from the event to the shattered city.

The Crusaders star yesterday announced he would fight an as yet unnamed opponent in Auckland on June 5.

Williams' opponent is expected to be named within the next fortnight.

It is understood his manager, Khoder Nasser, wants an opponent with at least 10 to 15 fights under his belt.

With the Rugby World Cup just around the corner, the four-test All Black yesterday rubbished suggestions he was spending too much time on the wrong sport.

Williams has always maintained that boxing helps, rather than hinders, him when it comes to his rugby career.

However, he said if that changed, he would hang up his gloves for good.

"Not even in my wildest dreams did I think I'd have the passion for boxing that I have now," Williams said.

"I've stated that, wherever I went, the ability to box was to be written into my contract.

"I've been straight up about it. But if it does hinder or take anything away from my rugby whatsoever - especially in this important year - I'll give it up straight away."

However, concerns remain, including the risk of an injury in the ring.

When asked about his critics, Williams said he tried to "be a positive person" and not "dwell on the negatives".

"If I dwell on the negatives, I won't be getting ahead in life.

"There is the element of risk there, but there's the element of risk when you walk on the street or out the door.

"I want to push the boundaries . . . I want to test myself, and I feel that to get myself in the best possible shape for the rugby field this is the way to do it."

Fairfax Media

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