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SBW reports for Roosters, still ducking blows

Published: 8:13PM Monday February 11, 2013 Source: ONE Sport

Part-time puncher Sonny Bill Williams was back on more familiar ground today, as he fronted for his first day of training with the Sydney Roosters league team.

"It's good to be here, but the boss man says I can't talk to anyone, bro," he said, still ducking the fallout from his controversial points decision over South African boxer Francois Botha over the weekend.

The 27-year-old former All Black is back in the league fold after four years dabbling in the other rugby code, but it's his off-field in-ring sporting exploits that everyone wants to talk about - except him.

Manager Khoder Nasser is more than willing to explain again the apparent early finish to the Brisbane fight.

"It was never a 12-round fight," Nasser insisted. "It was a misunderstanding - people assumed it was a 12-round fight, but all they had to do was go and look at the last time the heavyweight WBA international belt was fought for.

"It was fought for over 10 rounds."

Whether that fight was against a man on drugs is still uncertain, with Botha adamant he's no drug cheat.

"I did not take any substances," he told ONE Sport, claiming he signed off on a clean test. "The company I administered the drugs test to came in on the night of the fight and said everything was fine - I said 'great news' and I signed the paper."

Today, it was the boxing fraternity throwing the punches at the "cowboy" nature of the Queensland branch that endorsed the fight.

Williams is proud of his fight.

"I though I showed a lot of grit and determination," he said. "It might not have been pretty at some times, but I showed that I've improved as a boxer.

But did he show the boxing world that he's a fighter to take seriously? And is his relationship with Nasser going to help or hinder that?

"It's been a little bit disheartening, the reaction," says Williams. "I left my all out there. I gave it my whole heart and it was one of the hardest things that I've ever done."

Who would have thought the fight out of the ring would be just as fierce?