Sonny Bill Williams has big plans for 2021 and they involve being inside a ring - not on a footy field.
The cross-code star is reportedly keen on making a long-awaited return to boxing in a move which could see him lace up the gloves at least twice this year.
SBW hasn't fought professionally since 2015, but with his one-year deal with the Sydney Roosters now expired, it seems he's eager to explore other career avenues.
Thankfully for him, he's got plenty of experience across different sporting codes to fall back on - and it's boxing that tickles his fancy this time.
When you possess the sort of credentials that Williams does, potential punching bags are never too far away.
And it appears the New Zealander's agent Khoder Nasser is currently working on a two-fight deal with that could see SBW lock horns with AFL legend-turned-boxer Barry Hall.
"Sonny is really excited about the idea of fighting Barry, Khoder tells me," Hall's promoter Danny Green told The Sydney Morning Herald.
"Both these guys don't want to lose to each other. They have both requested they have a fight beforehand, so why don't we put them on the same show?
"It's great from a viewership perspective and ensures both athletes are in the best condition when they do fight each other.
"The fact that Sonny Bill is going into another sport again, it's going to create a lot of noise and a lot of hype because he is a juggernaut. The fact these two behemoths are going to get in there and get it on, it's very exciting."
As if being a back-to-back rugby union World Cup winner and two-time NRL Premiership winner wasn't enough, SBW also had a decorated boxing career and even reigned as the WBA International Heavyweight Champion at one point.
35-year-old Williams certainly has what it takes to make his boxing comeback something truly special.
As for 44-year-old Hall, he's certainly well known among Aussie sports fans and has proven himself to be a tidy boxer in the past.
After hanging up the Aussie Rules guernsey for good back in 2011, 'Big Bad Barry' eventually found his way into the boxing circuit and made his professional debut in 2019 against former NRL skipper Paul Gallen.
The bout ended as a draw, but Hall proved the doubters wrong and put forward a promising display worthy of a rematch.
Hall was left frustrated when rival Gallen went on to fight other big-name opponents, but it seems his patience with finding a new opponent has finally paid off.
"They have both requested they get tested and the only way to do that is with a legitimate fight beforehand," Green added.
"There is always the inherent risk that one or both gets knocked out. That in itself is exciting.
"Sonny Bill has also proven himself as a boxer, he has acquitted himself extremely well. Putting him in against Barry, who proved in his first professional bout that he has got the skills, it is going to be huge."
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@sonnybillwilliams
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