Sonny Bill Williams and Barry Hall meet in a long-awaited fight which boxing fans have been calling for.
After a week of trash talking and headbutting at the weigh in, Williams and Hall put their differences aside for eight rounds of heavyweight action.
Bookmakers have Williams has the slight favourite to beat former AFL hard man Hall, so it should be a quality contest.
Williams vs. Hall Predictions
Sonny Bill Williams vs Barry Hall Fight Prediction
Sonny Bill Williams, a former NRL Grand Final and Rugby World Cup winner, has the more impressive boxing record.
He is 8-0 after beating the likes of Frans Botha and Chauncy Welliver, who are at least professional boxers and that holds Williams in good stead.
Many believe he could make his way up the heavyweight rankings if he puts his mind to it. Despite being ranked 243rd in the heavyweight division, Williams has the technical skill to beat some good boxers.
Joseph Parker’s coach, Andy Lee, believes SBW could fight for a world title.
“I’m not blowing smoke; my ambition with Sonny is to one day fight for the heavyweight championship,” Lee told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“It is well within his reach. With the progression he has made in the last 6-8 weeks, the way I see him going in the future, with the right fights and the right training he certainly has the ability.”
Barry Hall has only one fight on his record, which was a draw against Paul Gallen. Gallen has since franked that form by beating some solid fighters, but ultimately, Hall has yet to show his credentials in the ring.
Hall has the weight advantage over Williams, but he’s rising in weight class for this fight and Williams’ rangy frame could give him trouble.
We’re surprised the sportsbook has Hall so short in the betting. The underdog is paying $2.22 to score the upset win, but we thought he would be around $2.80-$3 to get the job done.
Punters get fair odds for Williams at $1.61. The more experienced fighter wins at most things he does, and he’ll likely keep on the outside of Hall and pick his shots.
We can see a fired-up Hall head hunting in the initial stages, which could gas him out over the eight rounds. He has already shown a weakness when headbutting Williams this week, so that could boil over in the ring and dent his chances of winning.
Williams is good at keeping a clear head, and although he’s not always seeking a highlight reel win, he should feel confident in out-boxing his opponent.
We’re happy with the $1.61 for Williams and we can see late money coming for the New Zealand superstar. We rate him as a $1.45 chance, so take the value available.
Bet: Sonny Bill Williams @ $1.61 – Bet @ Sportsbet
Sonny Bill Williams vs Barry Hall Exotic Betting Picks
Punters can get better value in exotic betting markets. Sonny Bill Williams is $3.10 to win via points or decision, which is too good to pass up.
Williams has knockout power, but we think he’ll play this fight cautiously and try outscore Hall. It might get the crowd booing, but it should be enough to earn a decision victory.
It’s also their first fight in a long time, so there will be rust and it could take them time to find their groove.
Alternatively, if you think there will be a knockout, it should come in the later rounds. Williams could land a big blow on the tired chin of Hall, who might have punched himself out by rounds seven and eight.
Bookmakers are offering $10 and $14 respectively for Williams to end the fight in the closing rounds, which could be worth a small bet.
Bet: Sonny Bill Williams on points @ $3.10 – Bet @ Sportsbet
After graduating from the University of Auckland (BA – English), Daryl was thrown into the world of sports and horse racing journalism.
Having worked as a racing journalist for two years, he decided to move into the online world of horse racing and sports writing. After years of honing his craft, Daryl became a professional punter in 2009 – with a focus on horse racing, NRL, AFL, NBA, Rugby, NFL, and US college sports. Daryl’s tips have been featured on various websites around the world before joining the GoBet team. When he’s not working, Daryl tries to avoid making bogeys on the golf course.