New Zealand Rugby
Sonny Bill eyes legendary status
ESPNscrum Staff
January 28, 2011
All Black Sonny Bill Williams (R) announces his fight next to Anthony Mundine, Tony Mundine Gym, Sydney, Australia, December 15, 2010
Sonny Bill Williams (right) announces his fight against Scott Lewis alongside former boxing champion Anthony Mundine © Getty Images

All Blacks ace Sonny Bill Williams has admitted that when he retires he hopes to be remembered as a true great in three sports - and not just one.

The 25-year-old Kiwi established himself as a superstar in rugby league before switching codes in 2008 to link up with Top 14 outfit Toulon. After returning to his native New Zealand last summer he then starred for the All Blacks on their end-of-season tour and is now expected to play a key role in his country's bid for World Cup glory on home soil later this year.

Williams will make his eagerly-awaited Super Rugby debut with Canterbury next month but, before that, he will have his third professional boxing bout, against Australian Scott Lewis at the Gold Coast Convention Centre in Queensland on Saturday night.

Williams has been heavily criticised for running the risk of injury by pursuing a career in the fight game whilst still in the process of trying to prove himself in Union. However, he is unapologetic in his desire to be remembered as a sporting legend.

''When I finish my career I want to be talked about not just in one sport but in three sports,'' Williams told the Sydney Morning Herald. ''I have got confidence in myself that if I stay injury-free and with a bit of luck I can be a really good rugby player and that's the same with boxing.

"I just need the training and experience and if I get that, I believe I can be a good boxer as well. I am confident that if I have a couple of years' experience I can do something serious in the sport.''

Williams also argued that the rigorous training regime he has undertaken ahead of his return to the ring will actually prove beneficial to his hopes of making a big impact in this year's Super Rugby series.

''Because the rugby season is so long, it is good to get away from it and sharpen up, and I believe that for myself, boxing gives me that edge - not just physically but mentally,'' the former Bulldogs star said.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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