Sonny Bill Williams has made it clear he believes he holds the cards and the influence in negotiating a long-awaited fight with Paul Gallen.
Williams, who took just two minutes to demolish Barry Hall on Wednesday night, called his fellow former NRL star while hedging his bets.
“I feel like I’m the A side of the situation,” Williams said.
Watch the full Turf War fight card, including Sonny Bill Williams vs. Barry Hall
“We’ll just have to sit down and talk and see what happens. When and where, I’m not sure, but we’ll talk soon. I’m not worried if it happens or not, but he’s always been part of this conversation, to be part of this boxing journey, so we’ll see what happens.”
Williams and Gallen spoke briefly after the fight at the Aware Super Theater in Sydney.
Before the fight, Gallen urged Hall to expose Williams’ “suspicious chin”, but the AFL great was badly exposed instead.
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Then Hall – who drew with Gallen in 2019 – said Williams’ punches sting a lot more.
“Me and Gal are going back,” Williams said.
“There are always words that are said between me and him, especially from his other half. I said I wanted to do this (boxing) for a few years and if everything works out, then me and Paul Gallen could be part of it. …
The SBW Hall Monsters in a first round stoppage
“That’s what makes great fights, that’s rivalries and we definitely have that. Barry and I definitely have that – that’s the buzz of boxing, that entertainment factor too.”
Williams said he was “overwhelmed” with emotion after beating Hall so quickly after diligently preparing for the fight.
The two-time Rugby World Cup winner spent six weeks in England and Ireland working with world champion Tyson Fury, Kiwi star Joseph Parker and weapons trainer Andy Lee.
He also thanked the Mundine family for their support as well as his family.
“I’m grateful to be able to go home tomorrow and make the round trip to school,” he joked.
“I said at the press conference that boxing is a dirty sport and I knew they knew all about my training camp. I didn’t know anything about his. And I heard he was going to try to show up.
“So for me, I just wanted to hold on and that’s what Andy Lee and I talked about – holding on and making him feel my power. I worked a lot on speed and hand technique and that was the reason to go overseas and train with Tyson Fury, train with Joe Parker and Andy Lee, to try and clean up some stuff.
“It came to fruition tonight, it happened in the first round.”
Lee believes the 36-year-old Williams can challenge for the world heavyweight title if he continues to dedicate himself to the sport full-time.
Williams admitted that half of his opponents so far “have just been couch dudes,” but he was buzzing with adrenaline to win such a high-profile fight.
He also told Wide World of Sports what Fury told him in a pre-fight phone call.
“”Bring it on Sonny, get in there, boy, get in there boy! Get in there and smash his face!
“That’s one thing I learned from Tyson that was beyond his physical attributes and what he does in the ring, his in-ring know-how, his mental toughness is his biggest thing.
“He just goes in there and tells them ‘it’s either me or you and I’m not laying down. That’s what I learned, the biggest thing I learned.
“I had to fly halfway around the world to learn this, but it kind of took me back to my youth where it was by any means necessary. Just to play freshman, supply, buy this first home for mom, this wallpaper.
“It brought me back to that mentality that was so grateful.”
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Turf War: Sonny Bill Williams vs Barry Hall headlines boxing big night at Sydney’s Aware Super Theater