Rugby

SBW allays fears over injury

2012-10-28 12:52
Sonny Bill Williams (File)

Tokyo - Former All Blacks centre Sonny Bill Williams is confident that he will be fit to fight South African Francois Botha in a heavyweight boxing match next month after suffering a shoulder injury.

Williams, on a short stint to play for Panasonic Wild Knights in Japan's rugby union Top League, was taken to hospital after injuring his right shoulder in a match against Kintetsu Liners in Ota, near Tokyo, on Saturday.

"Hurt today .. results back nothing serious, small tear so hopefully still be able to (fight Botha)," the 27-year-old part-time boxer wrote on Twitter hours later.

His first tweet after sustaining the injury said: "Going in for MRI hopefully just a small tear?!!"

It was accompanied by a picture showing his right arm in a sling and his left hand clenched as if he was ready to fight. What appeared to be a Japanese hospital worker in white stood next to him flashing a right fist.

Williams, the New Zealand heavyweight champion, is set to take on veteran Botha, 44, a four-time world title challenger, in Brisbane on November 24 in his sixth boxing match.

Williams, who is on a contract to play 12 matches for Panasonic reportedly for $1.2m, scored a first-minute try, his second since joining the team, in the Top League eighth round.

But he crunched his shoulder attempting a tackle on former Western Force centre Gene Fairbanks 10 minutes into the match.

The New Zealander was taken away from the field and Panasonic went on to beat Kintetsu 23-20 for their fifth win against three losses. Panasonic stood fifth in the league table. Defending champions Suntory Sungoliath are top.

The Top League went into a five-week break with its final set for late January.

Williams is expected to return to Australia's National Rugby League in the 2013 season, possibly playing for the Sydney Roosters.

Read more on:    sonny bill williams  |  rugby  |  boxing
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