Sonny Bill Williams vs Barry Hall, Turf War, when is it, how to watch

Sonny Bill Williams has lashed Barry Hall as a “bully” and vowed to “shut him up” as the ill feeling intensifies ahead of next Wednesday’s fight in Sydney.

The former football stars are the real deal as boxers with Williams a former New Zealand heavyweight champion and Hall a former junior Golden Gloves champ.

Williams, 36, has left no stone unturned in his preparation, spending six weeks in the United Kingdom to train with world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, leading Kiwi slugger Joseph Parker and respected Irish trainer Andy Lee.

TURF WAR: Sonny Bill Williams vs Barry Hall, live and Exclusive on Stan Event, March 23. Purchase the event now at

And as Hall prepares to train with UFC star Alex Volkanovski in Wollongong tomorrow, Williams threw an early verbal jab at the AFL great.

“I’m not a trash talker but these last couple of months have really shown me what type of character Barry is,” Williams said after his final serious sparring session at his gym in Carlton in Sydney’s south.

“He’s no spring chicken and it seems like he’s searching for that limelight. I know I represent the rugby and league crowd and it’s time to hopefully shut the bully up.

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“He was a bit of a bully on the field so it’s going to be nice to get in there and have a scrap with a bully.”

Williams is 8-0 in his professional boxing career while Hall, 44, has just one professional fight on his CV, the controversial 2019 draw against Paul Gallen.

But Williams hasn’t had a serious boxing challenge in seven years and admits he needed to search to rediscover that nasty edge.

“When you have kids it softens you up, it’s only natural. But training with the heavyweight champion of the world, Tyson Fury, and one of the best heavyweights in the world in Joseph Parker, learning from Andy Lee over in Ireland – it’s very uncomfortable,” Williams admitted.

“Training in different gyms, sparring different guys that I’ve never met before, European champions, going through all that and holding my own, growth comes from that.

“It’s going to put me in good stead next week… six weeks of hard work in the UK but it’s just made me really determined to get in there and give Barry a hiding. Take the frustration out.”

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