Photo credit / Stan Sport
Sonny Bill Williams was only half-joking when he told Te Ao Toa in the weekend that AFL legend Barry Hall, who had been trash-talking him in the lead-up to their 'Turf Wars' fight in Sydney on Wednesday night, would soon be respecting him.
The former Sydney Swans star was knocked out by Williams in the first round after twice hitting the canvass.
"I was prepared to go eight rounds and it finished in the first. I was overwhelmed by emotions, probably went a little bit far," Williams said post-fight.
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36-year-old Williams said he thought he had won the fight the first time the 45-year-old Hall fell to the canvass.
"The first knockdown I caught him but the ref said it was a slip. But when he said it was a slip I thought it was over. So I was like 'yeah'. But he was like 'nah', it's still going."
The turning point was when he picked up Hall was in trouble, Williams said.
"I hit him with one punch, I can't remember what, but then he walked off. That's when I knew, 'oh, he's hurt', he said.
"So then I went into just a freestyle mode, just trying to get him out of there."
Williams' next fight will possibly be against former NRL great Paul Gallen.
"It's in the plan, I said I want to do this for a couple of years. If it all works out, then Paul Gallen's a part of that. When and where, I'm not sure but I'm sure we'll be talking."
Williams said he was grateful to have got through the fight unhurt and to be able to do his children's school drop-offs and pick-ups the next day.
"My wife made a big feed for us back at the hotel, so I'm looking forward to getting back there and have that," he said.