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Devout Muslim rugby star Sonny Bill Williams refuses to pose with ring girls at press conference

Devout Muslim rugby star Sonny Bill Williams refused to pose with scantily clad ring girls at a press conference ahead of his charity boxing match against reality TV star Stu Laundy. 

The All Blacks rugby star looked uncomfortable and remained at distance from the ring girls while his opponent appeared more than happy to pose with the women.

Williams, 33, and his team requested the women, dressed in a golden ensemble, be removed from the media event on Thursday. 

Devout Muslim Sonny Bill Williams (left) refused to pose with scantily clad ring girls at a press conference ahead of his charity boxing match against reality TV Stu Laundy 

The All Blacks rugby star looked uncomfortable and remained at distance from the ring girls while his opponent appeared ecstatic by the photo opportunity

The All Blacks rugby star looked uncomfortable and remained at distance from the ring girls while his opponent appeared ecstatic by the photo opportunity

‘It is what it is, that’s the industry we’re in. But for myself I don’t think it was necessary,’ Williams told Nine News.

Williams, who played for the Canterbury Bulldogs in the NRL, will fight millionaire publican Stu Laundy in an exhibition boxing match on Saturday night.

The one-off event will raise money for The Bill Crews Charitable Trust, Auckland City Mission and the Exodus Foundation. 

Williams’ agent Khoder Nasser, who is also Muslim, acknowledged the women were upset but the request was ‘in line’.

‘We didn’t think it was appropriate in that atmosphere (to have the women there),’ he told Wide World of Sports.

‘Sonny Bill’s stance towards women is very respectful.’

'It is what it is, that's the industry we're in. But for myself I don't think it was necessary,' Williams told Nine News

‘It is what it is, that’s the industry we’re in. But for myself I don’t think it was necessary,’ Williams told Nine News

Williams, who formally represented the Bulldogs in NRL, will fight Mr Laundy (centre) in a exhibition boxing match on Saturday night

Williams, who formally represented the Bulldogs in NRL, will fight Mr Laundy (centre) in a exhibition boxing match on Saturday night

The media event was focused on raising awareness about the charity with Williams assisting to provide meals for the homeless at the Exodus Foundation.

Tickets to the fight start at $500 and scale up to $25,000-a-head.     

‘Grateful 2 have visited the Exodus Foundation today,’ Williams tweeted on Thursday evening.

‘They supply free nutritious meals every day of the year to the less fortunate as well as counselling & outreach services to guide their futures.’

‘Thanks to Stu Laundy for bringing this fight into fruition for such a gr8 cause.’ 

Williams, who formally represented the Bulldogs in NRL, will fight Mr Laundy in a exhibition boxing match on Saturday night

Williams, who formally represented the Bulldogs in NRL, will fight Mr Laundy in a exhibition boxing match on Saturday night

The one-off event will raise money for The Bill Crews Charitable Trust, Auckland City Mission and the Exodus Foundation

The one-off event will raise money for The Bill Crews Charitable Trust, Auckland City Mission and the Exodus Foundation

On Wednesday, Williams spoke to Daily Mail Australia about the charity boxing match.

‘It’s such a great cause and that’s what I’m all about,’ Williams said.

He said the cause is close to his heart because he has an ‘affiliation’ with the Auckland City Mission.

‘My household, we grew up in a housing commission house. My nan used to give us some clothes and what not from Auckland City Mission where she worked,’ he said.

‘To be able to partner up with them is something I hold pretty dearly.’

Sonny Bill added that Mr Laundy, who is the heir to a multi-million dollar pub fortune, deserves praise for getting involved with the match. 

Sonny Bill is undefeated in seven fights and is a former New Zealand Heavyweight Champion.

‘Some call it brave, I might call it stupid, but I’ve been throwing drunks out of pubs for 30 years,’ Mr Laundy previously told Daily Mail Australia.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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