Sonny Bill gets a disabled boxing opponent

The professional boxing career of All Blacks rugby star Sonny Bill Williams faces a new credibility test after revelations his next opponent is on welfare for a disability which prevents him from working.

Williams will face 43-year-old Tongan gospel singer Alipate Liava’a in a six-round heavyweight bout in Auckland on Sunday. Liava’a is now being investigated by New Zealand welfare authorities as he claims he can’t find a job because he has tennis elbow.

Sunday’s bout will be the fourth of Williams’ professional career and follows fights with a New Zealand nightclub bouncer and an Australian forklift driver.

Liava’a stands to earn $6 000 (New Zealand dollars, or $4 900) from the fight and intends to use the money to finance an album of gospel songs. — Sapa-AP

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