During Sonny Bill Williams’ press conference yesterday in Sydney promoting tomorrow’s charity boxing bout, drama unfolded when scantily clad ring girls were asked to leave.
The All Blacks midfielder is set to fight reality TV star Stu Laundy in a fundraiser for The Bill Crews Charitable Trust, Auckland City Mission and the Exodus Foundation.
Williams, 33, is a devout Muslim and was not at all happy to see promotional models wearing bikinis at the press conference.
Nine News reported that Williams and his team asked the women to be removed from the press conference.
“It is what it is, that’s the industry that we’re in. But for myself I don’t think it was necessary,” Williams told Nine News.
“We didn’t think it was appropriate in that atmosphere (to have the models there),” said Williams’ agent Khoder Nasser.
“Sonny Bill’s stance towards women is very respectful.”
Nasser said other members of The Bill Crews Charitable Trust were also unhappy with the appearance of the models in bikinis.
“There were (upset). We were very much in line,” said Nasser.
Williams has had seven professional fights with three wins by way of knockout. He hasn’t fought since 2015.
His opponent Laundy was a contestant on the third season of Australia’s The Bachelorette and enters tomorrow’s event, named the Banger in the Hanger, with no boxing background.