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Ex-All Black Sonny Bill Williams' intellect attacked by former League player

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Don Arnold/WireImage)

Former All Black great Sonny Bill Williams has had his intelligence belittled in a verbal tirade by former rugby league player Paul Gallen.


The 58-test All Black, who had a multi-sport career across rugby union, rugby league, sevens and is still active in boxing, has come under fire from former NRL player Gallen for not accepting a fight that would have netted them both $4 million.

The former NSW Blues captain went on to attack Williams’ personally, calling the athlete ‘too dumb’ to accept the deal that was tabled by UK boxing promoter Eddie Hearn.

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Gallen, who has a media career in rugby league and has tried a hand at boxing, detailed his one-on-one conversation with Williams at the NRL Grand Final as he tried to convince Williams to accept the fight before he retired from boxing.

“I said ‘Sonny, if we’re going to fight we have to organise it soon because I’m retiring next year,” Gallen recalled.

“And he says ‘what do you mean?’

“I said, ‘mate, I’m turning 41 next year, I’m definitely retiring’.

“I then explained to Sonny while I was contracted with No Limit, I was allowed to fight him so long as it wasn’t within 10 weeks of a No Limit event.

“I then said No Limit had pencilled me in for a fight in December, 2022 – which will be my last — so we needed to get it sorted for at least 10 weeks before then.”


“To which Williams said what?

“Sonny says ‘bro, bro, bro’ … he always says bro,” Gallen laughs. “He says ‘bro, it only takes six weeks to get ready for a fight’.

“And I said ‘bro, I’m retiring … do you understand?’

“From that day on I never heard another word.”

Gallen tried to contact Williams’ agent Khoder Nasser in a second attempt to line up the bout which he said turned into a farcical conversation, “it was the most arrogant, ridiculous conversation I’ve ever had in my life.”

Williams has lined up his next fight with former UFC fighter Mark Hunt, who Gallen fought and beat in 2020 in the fighter’s third boxing bout.


The former Cronulla Sharks prop predicted that Williams would try to call him out after the fight with Hunt before launching an attack on Williams’ smarts.

“Sonny will come out after this fight and say ‘Ok, Gal let’s go’,” he said.

“That’s how dumb he is.

“After I told him a year ago I can’t fight in the 10 weeks before December.

“And like I said, then I am retiring.

“Because unlike Sonny I can talk. I can think.

“I don’t just say ‘bro’.”

Gallen has had 15 professional bouts since turning to boxing after his rugby league career, sporting 12 wins, two losses and one draw with seven knockout wins.

Williams has a 9-0 record in his boxing career, winning his latest fight in March 2022 over former AFL player Barry Hall and will fight Mark Hunt in November.



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