Sonny Bill Williams has turned down a $1 million purse to defend his New Zealand Heavyweight title against up-and-coming boxing sensation Joseph Parker, but has instead agreed to defend it against a 12 year-old trolley boy from Papatoetoe New World.
Williams’ manager, Khoder Nasser rejected the offer to fight Parker who looks set to win his Thursday night bout against timber yard worker Afa Tatupu, after having it presented to the Williams’ camp late last week.
“We just didn’t feel that the match up would be right for Sonny,” said Nasser. “This Parker kid looks to take his boxing pretty seriously, and we wouldn’t want to risk Sonny’s perfect career by putting him up against someone who actually treats this sport as their full time profession. We need someone who, like Sonny, just see’s boxing as something fun to do on the side.”
Nasser went on to reveal Williams’ opponent as Ben Tuvake, Trolley Storage Assistant at Papatoetoe New World. “This Ben kid, he’s a pretty tough opponent for Sonny,” said Nasser. “We hear he just got his first pair of boxing gloves for his 12th birthday a few weeks ago, so he’s going to be right up there on Sonny’s level with that boundless energy and awkward angst that the early years of puberty brings with it. Let’s also not forget that pushing trolleys around a car park for a few hours each week is going to be great strength and endurance conditioning for Tuvake, so we’re counting on him being a real challenge for Sonny.”
Nasser was quick to downplay suggestions that Williams was simply trying to avoid boxing against anyone of any ability, indicating that the Williams’ camp had been working on lining up a bout against boxing great Muhammad Ali, but the overtures had come to nothing with Nasser saying “I’m pretty sure Ali turned down the bout because he was scared about facing up Sonny, who’s clearly the greatest athlete ever.”