Can Sonny Bill dole out a hiding?
WELLINGTON: The professional boxing career of All Blacks rugby star Sonny Bill Williams faces a new credibility test after revelations that his next opponent is on welfare for a disability which prevents him from working.
Williams will face 43year-old Tongan gospel singer Alipate Liava’a in a six-round heavyweight bout in Auckland on Sunday.
Liava’a is now being investigated by New Zealand welfare authorities as he claims he cannot find a job because he has tennis elbow.
Sunday’s bout will be the fourth of Williams’s professional career and follows fights with a New Zealand nightclub bouncer and an Australian forklift driver.
Liava’a stands to earn NZ$6 000 (R33 124) from the fight and intends to use the money to finance an album of gospel songs.
Meanwhile, All Black stalwart Mils Muliaina announced yesterday he would play club rugby in Japan after this year’s World Cup in New Zealand.
Fullback Muliaina, who shares the record number of 94 All Black Test caps with New Zealand skipper Richie McCaw, said he had signed a two-year contract with Japanese club NTT Docomo from next year.
The move will effectively mean the end of Muliaina's international career, as the All Blacks do not consider overseas-based players for selection.
Former All Black flanker Rodney So’oialo also announced yesterday he would play in Japan next year after signing a two-year deal with Honda Heat. – Sapa-AP-AFP