SBW's title win 'a farce'

2012-02-09 07:46

Wellington - Rugby World Cup winner Sonny Bill Williams won the New Zealand Professional Boxing Association's heavyweight title but his fight against an overweight American opponent who showed little skill or interest in fighting has been disparaged at home.

VIDEO: Sonny Bill Williams in weigh-in brawl

VIDEO: Sonny Bill Williams's first round victory

Williams, 26, won the belt with a first round technical knockout over Clarence Tillman in Hamilton on Wednesday.

The 34-year-old journeyman Tillman, an American living in New Zealand, was a late replacement for the original opponent Richard Tutaki, who was scratched from the fight after being arrested on a number of charges.

Williams and Tillman had been involved in a shoving match on Tuesday at the weigh-in, though local media questioned whether the altercation had been staged to boost pay-per-view sales.

Tillman shoved Williams then caught him with a glancing right hook before he was dragged away by Australian professional boxer and former rugby league player Anthony Mundine, a friend and stable mate of Williams under manager Khoder Nasser.

The real fight lasted less than three minutes, with the grossly overweight Tillman showing little enthusiasm for the fight or any technical skill when Williams managed to land his shots, forcing referee Lance Revill to stop the bout.

Boxing commentator and historian Bob Jones, however, was disparaging of the fight, calling Tillman a "joke opponent" and the bout itself a farce.

"Tillman's record is appalling. Five of his fights were against blokes who had never fought before and even then he lost one of them," Jones told Fairfax Media on Thursday.

"Have a look at all the bouts he's had in New Zealand and Australia, his name has never once appeared in the press. He's a joke opponent and they've built him up, and suddenly he's fighting in the limelight.

"He's hopeless. To see all this over the front page is silly.

"The whole thing was a joke from the start. This sort of farce degrades boxing."

Williams, who has a clause in his New Zealand Rugby Union contract to pursue boxing and fought shortly before the World Cup last year, is one of the world's highest profile rugby players and there has been immense media interest in his fights despite the poor calibre of opposition.

Media academic and former journalist Alan Samson said the attention on Williams' boxing pursuits was being fed by the public's obsession with the player.

"I'm not a marketing person but he is the most carefully constructed media brand I have ever seen," Samson, a Massey University journalism lecturer, told Reuters.

"Everything is carefully thought through, seemingly at the behest of his advisers.

"Journalistically I can understand why we are obsessed with Sonny Bill, why he achieves such attention, because the public is obsessed with him. It is a chicken and egg situation.

"I think some of the cover of the current and earlier fights has been absurd and if we are going to be covering him, it should be covered honestly. Warts and all.

"He has to be written about in the context of real news."


  • The-third - 2012-02-09 07:58

    Tis what I said yesterday.

      rheinhardt.peens - 2012-02-09 12:50

      He fought an overweight drunk, well looked like he was drunk!!!!

      Bokfan - 2012-02-09 13:07

      The fatman was paid NOT to hit SBW. I've seen more convincing performances in WWE Raw. By the chicks. Whatsup with the small blacks these days. Everything they touch turns to cheat.

  • Wesley - 2012-02-09 08:01

    he shud just stick to playing rugby! more competition and the NZ rugby bosses cant choose his opposite number!

  • Peter - 2012-02-09 08:08

    The man is a joker on the rugby field and even worse when it comes to boxing!

      Riaan - 2012-02-10 09:50

      Peter Peter Pumpkin eater

  • Mabandla - 2012-02-09 08:16

    The worst display of boxing "skill" ever (OK maybe not ever, but it was pretty close). The punches were wild, and he seems to only really have the ability to land his right. Perhaps more training, and work on his technique and he might get better but a real boxer would put him on his ass. Dude never had his hands up once and Tillman looks like he likes his food a little too much.

  • Neil - 2012-02-09 08:32

    why dont they give him a proper shot at the title, Vladimir, then we see if he has got talent

      James - 2012-02-09 08:43

      Even "old man" Francois Botha will nail him to the floor!

  • Bryan - 2012-02-09 08:38

    Watch the actual fight footage. The article makes alot of sense.

  • James - 2012-02-09 08:42

    What an egotistical poephol!

  • hannes.handogg - 2012-02-09 08:45

    I reckon people area bit harsh on old Money Bill Williams. It's not exactly his fault that his opponent was "an overweight American who showed little skill or interest in fighting". If you step in the ring, it's ON! And he beat him before the end of the first round. I think that deserves a pat on the back. Yes, he needs to fight better opponents in the future to really test himself as a boxer. But thus far, the man's undefeated. Well done SBW. Now step it up a notch to silence the critics (or prove me wrong).

  • Brandon - 2012-02-09 09:00

    The only way New Zealanders can win any WORLD TITLE is by hook or by crook. I guess they the WORLD CHAMPS in CROOKERY.

      Bob - 2012-02-09 09:53

      You are a sad man Brandon, you give give South Africans a bad name with your whining, you still haven't got over the fact that the boks played one dimentional rugby and lost the game because of that and some very poor refereeing, HTFU be a man.

      Bokfan - 2012-02-09 13:08

      Aweh Brandon

  • rlong1952 - 2012-02-09 09:14

    'Rugby World Cup winner Sonny Bill Williams won the New Zealand Professional Boxing Association's heavyweight title' So he won the cup all on his own? ha ha. Let's match him against Manny Pacquio and see what happens. ha ha ha

      Shoosh - 2012-02-09 10:45

      You RLong odds on favourite for being the idiot of the month with that daft comment, obviously you know nothing about boxing & the different weight classes now do you?

      rlong1952 - 2012-02-09 11:33

      Shoosh..... Of course I know that but even if Manny is in lighter class division, he will still knock the stuffing out of him. Thanks for the compliment, by the way, what a nice polite chap you are, must be a joy to live in the same house as you !!

  • Why - 2012-02-09 09:22

    Please give him a fight against someone that can box. He will not last 5 rounds. The guy can not box but now he is going to the olympics. That I will pay to see. He will not know his mother after that.

  • Raeez - 2012-02-09 10:01

    Jeeez people give the man a break. Jealousy oozing out out of ya'll.

      Chris - 2012-02-09 10:18

      Watch the video first and then comment. Great rugby player, but absolute joke when it comes to boxing.

      Raeez - 2012-02-09 12:34

      I watched the video. There is no doubt that he has ANY chance against a real opponent. Sh*t I bet Ricky January will knock him out but my point is people are bad mouthing him saying hes using his looks to get money and and and... I bet if these same people had a chance to make a quick buck they wud take it aswell.

      rheinhardt.peens - 2012-02-09 12:53

      I say give him a couple more fights, Maybe they are blowing it all out of proportion but those rights looked to me like they were stinging Tillman, as for technique he is young in his boxing career and still has ALOT to learn, but hey... lets see what happens!!!!

      Raeez - 2012-02-10 08:43

      I agree with you rheinhardt. Theres plenty of time to work on hes technique. If he carries on winning these "lessor" fighters he might catch the eye of a quality trainer. Then who knows...

  • Ulrich Davis - 2012-02-09 10:18

    JEALOUSY makes you nasty!!! Hahahahahaha! Stop bitching and moaning! Just becoz u didn't achieved anything in LIFE don't HATE on others!!! I don't know what rugby has anything to do with boxing, Oh I forgot it still HURTS coz the Mighty ALL BLACKS won the RWC 2011!!! Hahahahahaha!!! Peace out!!!

      Chris - 2012-02-09 11:57

      Yaaaaawn... NZ were the last out of the Tri Nations teams to win it twice. Get ready for a Bok backlash over the next 4 years.

      Mabandla - 2012-02-09 12:31

      Dude, I suggest you actually watch that fight. It was shambolic to the Nth degree. He can't bos well enough to win a title, if he fought a real serious boxer he'd have been hospitalised. True Story.

      Mabandla - 2012-02-09 12:32


  • Ruben - 2012-02-09 11:30

    He should just get one good opponent to fight then we will see ? who knows maybe he suprises?

  • JT - 2012-02-09 11:37

    The level of intelligence displayed in this comment section is appalling.

  • jay187 - 2012-02-10 02:56

    Still cant believe SBW is getting ripped for trying boxing on the side. Why not ? Of course hes not gonna fight anyone major yet ... HE HAS OTHER COMMITMENTS.. Why cant people understand this ? These comments belong on an Aussie site like theyre so dumb. Some idiot a few comments up even mentioned Manny... are you serious.. dumbest comment Ive ever read.

  • Pierre - 2012-02-19 21:55

    After seeing this 'amazing/thrilling' fight, I was wondering , perhaps Malema in the ring with SBW next?!

  • Christopher - 2012-04-04 00:09

    He's a heavy weight I agree give him to Klitchko, he will get his ass absolutely pummeled or even a retired Corrie Sanders will wallop this fool!

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