Rugby

Sonny Bill Williams 'Very Committed' To Boxing After Rugby Retirement

Sonny Bill Williams 'Very Committed' To Boxing After Rugby Retirement

Former All Black Sonny Bill Williams has opened up about life after rugby as he vows to continue a professional boxing expedition.

The 36-year-old has released an an autobiography, entitled 'You Can't Stop The Sun From Shining' and details his rugby career and off the field struggles.

Having first started playing rugby league in 2004 with the Canterbury Bulldogs, he would go on to play union club rugby in France, New Zealand and Japan.

Internationally, Sonny Bill racked up 58 caps for the All Blacks in almost a decade and represented the Kiwis on twelve occasions, between 2004 and 2013.

He's described writing the autobiography as a 'real therapeutic process' and told Sky Sports about how his upbringing led to stumbling blocks later in life.

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"One of my strengths growing up, coming from pretty much nothing, I strove so hard to get mum a house with wallpaper on it," he said.

"It was all about survival from pay cheque to pay cheque. Dad and mum didn't have the luxury of sitting me down to say 'son, if you get to a high-performance space these might be the pitfalls.'"

Williams endured a struggle with drug and alcohol addiction and has credited his turn to Islam for saving him. Much of his career off the pitch has been well publicised.

"After five years of doing that, I was terribly unhappy off the field," he said. "Now with my faith, Islam, I turned it around."

Most recently, the two-time Rugby World Cup winner made a return to the National Rugby League to play for the Sydney Roosters, a team he had a stint with years prior.

The New Zealander earned 5 appearances for the Roosters in his last rugby run, but is now fully focused on maintaining a professional boxing career.

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In the past, Williams said he used his boxing training kept him in good shape during the rugby offseason. With rugby behind him, he's giving it his focus.

"My boxing career started off through necessity, but although I'm 36 now I'm very committed to giving boxing for all for the next 24 months."

The New Zealander had stepped into the ring originally to help pay off a huge financial debt of $1 million he had built up in 2008.

Most recently, he had his first bout in six years, defeating Waikato Falefehi to secure a unanimous decision win despite being knocked down in the fight.

"I'm just really focused on it. Before I walk off into the sunset, I want to give boxing a good crack because I've only done it for six or eight weeks and I've seen the improvement that I've had in that time."

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