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Sonny Bill Williams has knocked out AFL great Barry Hall in the first round of their highly-anticipated fight that proved an utter mismatch.
Williams landed the first big right inside 30 seconds and Hall went down for what initially appeared to be the end of the fight but he survived the count.
The AFL premiership-winning captain hit the canvas again after just 90 seconds and when Williams dropped Hall a third time at the two-minute mark, it was all over.
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“He conquered rugby league, he conquered rugby union and he has conquered boxing tonight. Barry Hall is one bad dude and Sonny Bill has schooled him tonight,” the lead commentator said.
“I don’t think in Sonny Bill’s wildest dream did he see a first round stoppage.”
Triple boxing world champion Danny Green responded: “No way. I thought it would go the other way early and Barry was going to impose his will, but Sonny’s speed and size was too good.”
Williams then called out NRL great Paul Gallen as a potential next fight.
“There’s talk of Gallen so maybe Gallen (next),” Williams said after the fight.
Gallen then went and spoke to Gallen ringside in what appeared a friendly encounter.
Williams is now unbeaten in nine professional fights dating back to 2009, but he’s only fought twice in almost seven years.
On the undercard, Anthony Mundine’s son Rahim made a successful pro debut by defeating Lepani Levatia via decision.
But the budding rugby league player is focused on making his NRL debut this season for the Wests Tigers insteaad of embarking on a serious boxing career.
“I’ll try do (boxing) in the off-seasons, for footy, but my main goal right now is to crack it in league,” Mundine said.
“I had a bit of a down year last year. I was playing NSW Cup – I debuted in NSW Cup at 19, but got injured early in the season. I’m just here to start my 2022 off with a bang.”
TURF WAR SBW-HALL FIGHT CARD
Main event: Sonny Bill Williams def Barry Hall via KO in Round 1 (8×3 minute rounds, heavyweight)
Paul Fleming def Jackson England via unanimous decision [97-92, 95-94 x2] (10×3 minute rounds, super featherweight)
Rahim Mundine def Lepani Levatia via unanimous decision [39-37, 40-37 x2] (4×3 minute rounds, catchweight)
Michael Hall def Mitchel Stapleton via unanimous decision [58-55, 58-54 x2] (6x3minute rounds, welterweight)
Willis Meehan vs Hunter Sam (6x3minute rounds) [Called off due to Sam failing a medical]
Terry Nickolas def Jason Medawar via TKO on Round 4 (4x3minute rounds, super welterweight)
Bilal Akkawy def Sebastian Singh via unanimous decision [60-54 x3] (6×3 minute rounds, cruiserweight)
Khalid Baker def Philemon Naliva Jr via TKO in Round 3 (4×3 minute rounds, cruiserweight)