CAPE TOWN - Australian fly-half Quade Cooper has told Eyewitness News Sport that his upcoming boxing bout is not a publicity stunt as he is seriously considering a career in the sport.
Cooper nearly walked away from the Wallabies after being offered a below-par contract by the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) following his criticism of the national coach Robbie Deans and was also considering leaving or switching codes to rugby league.
Last week though the impasse was resolved after signing a lucrative two-year deal with the ARU.
He will now follow in the footsteps of Sonny Bill Williams and pursue a career in the ring, fighting on the undercard of the Williams-Francois Botha fight in February.
His opponent is set to be confirmed soon, but Cooper said he plans to make a career out of his time in the ring.
“I have an opportunity to fight on the undercard for Sonny Bill, and not only a professional belt, but for a great cause. The fight against drugs is something that really got me amped up. This is great for my boxing career and after this fight I will definitely continue pursuing this path.”
Cooper maintains the fight is not to get attention.
“Boxing is something that I’ve got a passion for. Following my knee injury I turned to boxing to keep my mind occupied and body in shape.”
He said he was getting great advice from his friend, Williams.
“Sonny said in his first fight he had no background in boxing and he was very nervous. He said the walk out of that tunnel is something that you’ll never experience doing anything else.”
He added he could not wait to get into the ring.