Joseph Parker trusts Sonny Bill Williams will come back to the boxing ring as a result of his enthusiasm for the game.
In a meeting with ESPN in front of his reality heavyweight unification battle against Anthony Joshua in Cardiff on April 1 (NZT), New Zealander Parker said he was companions with the All Black midfielder, who he had fought against previously.
“Sonny is an extraordinary competitor, you know,” Parker told ESPN. “We have been messaging a bit and staying in contact.
“He’s centered around his rugby right now and his family, yet general he’s an awesome competitor. I think he’d love to get once more into the ring yet he’s concentrating on a couple of things until further notice.
“One day he will return and battle however right now he’s simply focusing on his family and rugby, yet I think his energy for boxing is still there.”
Williams, a previous New Zealand heavyweight champion, was unbeaten in seven expert battles between 2009-15. Parker competed with Williams before Williams’ battle against Clarence Tillman in 2012, the year Parker turned proficient, and the rugby player more than stood his ground.
Williams’ last battle was against Chauncy Welliver, a session he won by choice. His most scandalous battle was against Frans Botha in Brisbane in 2013.
Williams won it by choice after 10 rounds, yet veteran Botha griped severely that it had been booked for 12 rounds and that it had been stopped on the grounds that he was showing signs of improvement of Williams.
That battle seemed, by all accounts, to be a rude awakening for the now 32-year-old, who had arranged a “boxing condition” in his agreements with New Zealand Rugby.
Williams is contracted with NZ Rugby until the finish of one year from now.
Parker has a few major supporters among the All Blacks, including Israel Dagg, who strolled to the ring with him before his IBF title end session against Carlos Takam in 2016.
Parker revealed to ESPN that he trusted Dagg and others could go to Cardiff in help, yet given the players’ Super Rugby duties, it’s most likely far-fetched.
“I think some about the players may be free and may come over,” Parker included. “I’m great companions with Jerome Kaino, Israel Dagg, Sonny Bill. I think if some of them do get time off they’ll certainly come over and bolster.
“This is where I think the entire of New Zealand will back us, and it can be where we do well. It will put New Zealand boxing on the guide and it will place us in the history books.”