New Zealand

Sonny Bill stripped of boxing belts

Sun, 15 Dec 2013 09:51
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We haven't heard a thing back
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All Black star Sonny Bill Williams has been stripped of his boxing belts and slammed for his “rude” attitude.

The heavyweight fighter, who’s won all six of his professional bouts, was stripped of his titles after he failed to defend his world and New Zealand championships.

The duel code international has put his boxing career on the backburner as he plans a return to Rugby Union ahead of the 2015 World Cup and hopes to feature in New Zealand’s Sevens team at the 2016 Olympic Games.

As a result, the World Boxing Association has declared the world title, which Williams won in controversial fashion over South African veteran Francois Botha in February, vacant.

The New Zealand Professional Boxing Association, meanwhile, stripped Williams of his national strap and criticised the World Cup winner and his management after he failed to respond to challenges.

"We haven't heard a thing back and, personally, that's rude," Lance Revill, the association's president, told NZ Newswire.

"He's not even said he's received the challenge and that they're going to think about it. If that was the case we'd hold off, but we've got no choice now but to strip the title."

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