NRL star Paul Gallen has accused All Blacks midfielder Sonny Bill Williams of dodging him, leaving the Cronulla Sharks captain close to abandoning the boxing bout against the cross-code athlete.
Despite having stuck a deal to fight Williams - a bout that is rumoured to have the potential to earn Gallen over A$500,000 (NZ$557,000) - a fallout with broadcasters appears to be the decisive factor in the breakdown of the fight.
However, Gallen believes that Williams is avoiding him.
"I think the issue here is that Sonny is worried about me," Gallen told Fairfax. "I've watched him very closely this year and he is looking a bit fragile.
"He's had a couple of head knocks and I think they are worried about what will happen when I get hold of him.
"I don't want to fight anyone else except for Sonny and that would worry them. I've got nothing to lose and that's a concern for Sonny."
The idea of Williams not wanting the fight came to Gallen following a conversation with Williams' agent, Khoder Nasser.
"I'll be very disappointed if I don't get to fight Sonny because people want to see it. At this point, I really don't think that it will happen."