Is Sonny Bill Williams the next Ali?

January 31, 2011 in Boxing by pacejmiller

SBW against one of his outmatched opponents

In what must be the funniest claim of the year thus far, Tony Mundine, a former boxer and father of Anthony Mundine, says rugby player and occasional boxer Sonny Bill Williams can be ‘the next Muhammad Ali’ if he continues boxing.

For those who don’t know, Williams is a former rugby league player who lost the plot and fled to France in the middle of a season to play rugby union for more cash.  The only guy that seemed to support him at the time was his good friend Anthony Mundine.  And thanks to Mundine, Williams began professional boxing (originally for charity) but is now beginning to seriously consider switching sports again, with the Mundines in his corner.

At 6’3″ and 238 pounds, Williams is a freak of nature with astonishing athletic ability.  Anyone that has seen him on the football field can attest to that.  But his first three fights (with two KOs) were against overweight and out of shape bums that Williams could have beaten without any training given his natural gifts.

And now, just after his third professional bout, Tony Mundine claims that Williams live up to a boxer many consider the greatest of all time (at least for a heavyweight).

“I said to [Williams] in 12 months time he could be the second Ali. He could be anything,” Mundine Sr said.  “I saw him about 12 months ago, I really thought he moved like Ali….He needs more fights … If he keeps on boxing seriously, he will be the second Ali.”

Yep.  Another pearl of wisdom from the Mundine family.  Not to piss on William’s amazing athletic ability, but to say that a 25-year-old guy who did not step into a boxing ring until May 2009, with no amateur experience and three professional wins against fat bums, can in the next 12 months become the ‘next Ali’, a guy who started boxing at 12, won numerous state and national titles and an Olympic gold medal, all before turning professional — well, I’ll let you make your own conclusions.

Here is a video of Williams against his second opponent.  Pretty hilarious stuff.

Amazingly, that’s not even the most hilarious thing Mundine Sr said in that interview.

“He’s got a big question mark – rugby league, rugby union or boxing,” Mundine Sr said when discussing Williams’ future.  “In rugby league and union there’s a lot of injuries, he can damage himself [in the] knees, neck, elbows and ankles.”

So to avoid injuries, Williams should quit the highly dangerous sports of rugby league and union and join a sport where the sole purpose is to punch the crap out of your opponent.  Makes sense.

If Sonny Bill Williams keeps hanging around the Mundines, he could very well end up like Muhammad Ali — the Muhammad Ali of now.

PS: Nothing against Williams personally.  I met him once and he was very nice and friendly.