7 Oct 2013

SBW-Parker match-up could be years away

3:09 pm on 7 October 2013

New Zealand boxing fans eagerly anticipating a possible heavyweight clash between the rising hope, Joseph Parker, and Sonny Bill Williams may have to wait, with the fight unlikely to go ahead for at least two years.

The boxing promoters, Duco Events, has lodged a challenge for Williams' New Zealand Professional Boxing Association title with a $1.3-million dollar winner-takes-all prize purse.

The challenger would be the winner of Thursday night's fight between Parker and Afa Tatupu.

Williams won the NZPBA heavyweight title in February last year and is yet to defend it.

The NZPBA president, Lance Revill, says Williams doesn't have to accept the offer immediately and can defend his title against any top-10 challenger within 12 months before he has to fight the number one contender.

He says Williams is unlikely to take on Parker in his first fight after a full season playing rugby league and expects him to take at least one warm-up bout first.

If Williams declines to defend his belt against a top 10 fighter within a year the rules dictate he should be stripped of his title, but Revill says it's better for the sport financially to keep Williams as champion.

Revill is yet to officially present the challenge to Sonny Bill Williams' manager, Khoder Nasser, but expects a response soon after.