Boxing Preview: Heavyweight Action From Australia Features Sonny Bill Williams

Sonny_Bill_Williams-420x0This Saturday, January 31st at the Allphones Arena in Sydney, Australia top notch rugby player and undefeated heavyweight boxer Sonny Bill Williams (6-0) faces veteran Chauncy Welliver (55-10-5) in what is Sonny Bill’s first boxing match in almost two years. Despite the long layoff and the distinct disadvantage in experience, Williams is a favorite (-325) at the books, with Welliver returning at (+265). Welliver is a solid veteran who has been around for more than a dozen years. He has been active recently, fighting three times in 2014, but he went 0 for the year and he is (2-5) in his last seven matches. In his last outing on December 11th, 2014 he lost every round to Alexander Ustinov, and what is more telling is he weighed in at 307.75 lbs. As recently as mid-2011, Welliver was coming in for his matches at just under 240 lbs. It will definitely be interesting to see what Welliver weighs for this fight, what with the holidays and all coming after his 300 plus pound scale tipping in Moscow. The story here is Williams, who by contrast to Welliver is one of those guys considered a super-athlete. Mainly for his work in rugby, he is signed as one of the global faces of sporting giant Adidas, and he is being looked at as the main event for this show at the Allphones Arena, which seats approximately 20,000 for a boxing event. Williams last fought in February of 2013, when he defeated then 44 year old Franz Botha by UD over 10 rounds. Williams has a few first round KO’s under his belt, but the 10 rounds against Botha are more meaningful. Botha, like Welliver has been poor as of late, going (1-7) over his last eight fights, but with Botha you are talking about a fighter who has been in the ring with the likes of Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko. To put the 10 rounds with Botha in perspective, New Zealand’s heavyweight prospect Joseph Parker (11-0) KO’d Botha in two rounds. If Williams is serious about making a run in boxing, he is going to have to raise his level of activity, because fighting every two years is not going to cut it. A win over Welliver, a known factor at Heavyweight, will move his ranking up overall and get him back in the ring. If Welliver comes in at roughly 300 lbs, which seems very likely, it will not be too tall an order for Williams to use his speed and movement to pound Welliver out. Welliver reportedly lost every round against Ustinov, and the two fights prior to that Welliver did not come off his stool as the fights were stopped, so the best case scenario for Williams would be to work 4-6 rounds and then end the night early. The undercard also features Willis Meehan, a Heavyweight who is (2-0) and whose father is veteran Heavyweight Kali Meehan (42-5). Odds have popped up for his previous two fights, so be on the lookout for that and more odds for this card. There are several other rugby players testing themselves in “The Sweet Science” on the card as well, if you are into that sort of thing.

Written by Miguel

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