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Sonny Bill Williams With Bad Injury, Ruptured Achilles Tendon

Dual rugby international, heavyweight boxing champion and rugby sevens Olympian - Sonny Bill Williams (7-0, 3KOs) has always forged his own particular path through the sporting landscape and it has nearly always ended up in success.

In a career that has taken him back and forth from league to union, from New Zealand to Australia to France with a stint in Japan, the 31-year-old has picked up silverware pretty much at every stop.

Two Rugby World Cup winner's medals with the All Blacks, a matching pair of titles in Australia's National Rugby League, a Super Rugby title with the Waikato Chiefs and, of course, a WBA international heavyweight belt.

boxing

On Tuesday, though, his midas touch deserted him.

Williams, wearing the black shirt of the country of his birth, barged into two Japanese tacklers nine minutes into his first match in Rio and ruptured his Achilles tendon. His Olympics, and hopes of a gold medal, were over.

While New Zealand coach Gordon Tietjens said Williams was understandably "shattered", the king of the offload himself typically took to Twitter.

"Down but never out, always praise to the most high for blessing me with so much! Let's go @nz7s we still in this," adding in another tweet congratulating the Japan side that had gone on to upset New Zealand.

Although undoubtedly blessed with huge natural talent and a remarkable physique, it is the extraordinary dedication to the sporting task at hand that sets Williams apart from other athletes.

He was the only one of a string of big name 15-aside players to declare their interest in playing sevens at the Olympics to have successfully negotiated the transition to lung-busting sevens format.

"He's a great professional," said Tietjens. "He's very infectious, he certainly helps the younger players and he's got a great work ethic.

"It's such a shame because he got to understand the game of sevens so well over the world series and for that to happen in the first game of the tournament was devastating."

The injury is likely to sideline Williams for the rest of year, ruling him out of the Rugby Championship, New Zealand's November Tour and almost certainly meaning a delayed start to his career at his third Super Rugby club, the Auckland Blues.

Williams has been away from a boxing ring since January 2015, but was planning to fight again in the near future. This injury puts that aspect of his sporting career on hold as well.

Tietjens suggested, however, that the shorter format of the union code may not have seen the last of him.

"I'd be surprised if he doesn't play sevens again but how long the injury keeps him out, I'm not too sure," he said.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by richardt on 08-10-2016

His name sounds way too dated....like some 60's fighter in the days of Ali.

Comment by Weebler I on 08-10-2016

Damn, no boxing comeback for Sonny Boy on the horizon. Devastated.

Comment by TheCell8 on 08-10-2016

His fight with Botha was the clearest example of corruption I've seen in boxing. A 12 round scheduled fight mysteriously ended after 10 rounds, while he was on the verge of getting KOed. Only in boxing...

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