Sonny Bill Williams says his athletic ability is his biggest – and perhaps only - asset heading into his next boxing bout against American journeyman Chauncy Welliver.
The cross-coding superstar has given a brutally honest assessment of his ring work ahead of his January 31 fight with Welliver in Sydney.
The pair will headline the Footy Show Fight Night promotion.
It won't be a pretty sight when lumpy heavyweight Welliver enters the ring. But looks aside, the 31-year-old is a seasoned veteran with a 70-fight professional record coming on top of an extensive amateur background. He's also been a regular sparring partner for some of the best fighters of his generation.
"Anyone that knows boxing, this guy I am fighting has had 70 fights. He's won 55, drawn five and lost 10," Williams told Sydney's Daily Telegraph.
"With that record in mind I had to try and get something in my favour, which is athletic ability.
"If we're honest, when you look at it, he's a big boy. But I've only had six fights and my first three, you wouldn't even consider them fights."
Williams, who has won virtually everything on offer in rugby league and rugby, admits to ambitions in boxing though he's also real enough to know it will take time, especially as he continues his football career that may include a fresh challenge of playing sevens with an eye to next year's Olympics in Brazil.
His code-hopping may have worked against him in boxing, with Williams admitting to the Daily Telegraph his lack of amateur fighting has left him with much to learn.
Williams hopes to up his game as he trains alongside Australian great Tony Mundine.
Williams said he's learned to live with the negative publicity that his forays into the boxing ring regularly generate.
He said his two-year hiatus from boxing was planned to try to let things cool down after the uproar from his last fight, a contentious points decision against South African veteran Francois Botha in Brisbane.
He admitted he may have bitten off more than he could chew against Botha, taking on the fight a year after knocking out Clarence Tillman to win the New Zealand title.
"It was a bit of a reality check. Things went so well the fight before that I probably got ahead of myself a bit," Williams said of the Botha fight that was surrounded by accusations of doping against the South African and that the bout was shsortened by two rounds to 10 as Williams came under fire late in the contest.
Welliver, who is battling through a three-loss streak in the ring, has pleaded with fans not to judge him by his appearance, but by his abilities.
He said he'd been training hard in the United States in preparation for the fight and was thrilled to have a good lead-in, something he had struggled with in his last two losses to Australian Browne in Melbourne last November and Russian Alexander Ustinov in Moscow a month later.