Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Rugby | Vodacom Super Rugby

Cooper pitted against Muay Thai veteran



Australia flyhalf Quade Cooper was on Thursday pitted against Muay Thai veteran Barry Dunnett for his professional boxing debut scheduled in Brisbane next month.

The 24-year-old New Zealand-born back is currently honing his punching skills in Brisbane ahead of the charity bout which will keep him out of the Queensland Reds' second and final pre-season trial.

When he steps into the ring at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on February 8 on the undercard of close friend and former All Black Sonny Bill Williams' bout with Francois Botha, Cooper will confront a 32-year-old rival with some credentials as a fighter.

"He's fought for a Queensland light heavyweight Thai boxing title. He's had two pro-boxing fights, one win and one loss, in 2010," Shannon King, whose Corporate Box facility Dunnett used for practice, was quoted as saying by the Brisbane Times.

"He's not a basketball player turned boxer. It's all he's done for the past eight years as a sport. If he goes down, it will be because he's sleeping, or because he's got a rib pushing on a vital organ. He won't give up," King added.

According to the report, Dunnett has fought 15 times under Muay Thai rules which allow the use of elbow and knee, and the pair will meet for the first time on Friday at a media session.

On the rugby field Cooper was a shadow of his creative self last year, producing a number of below-par performances after recovering from a serious knee injury and featuring in a well-publicised spats with the governing body.

His boxing venture appeared to have the backing of Queensland Reds coach Ewan McKenzie.

"If you are going to put yourself out there in front of a big TV audience and a crowd one-on-one ... you can't help think he is getting some benefit from a confidence point of view," McKenzie told reporters on Tuesday.

"He's been getting his boxing done around normal training. The quality of his rugby training has been outstanding, he seems in a very good space."



Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Latest Video Highlights

Fri, 22 May
Fri, 22 May
Fri, 22 May
Thu, 21 May

Sports Talk



Kyle Brown
Bloodied but unbowed
It will take a bit of time for the pain to settle and for us to realise that the sun will rise...

Tony Johnson
Some accountability at last
The fact that Sanzar has responded to some shoddy refereeing over the weekend is good. We have some...

Brendan Venter
Success determined by injury list
As we approach the business end of the Super Rugby season, I believe that the team which has their...

Brenden Nel
Where is the Blitz in these Boks?
The spectacular implosion by the Blitzboks to hand their World Series lead – and then the title –...

Gavin Rich
Relax, the World Cup isn't won in May
It’s been a long time since a Super Rugby weekend has been so abjectly poor for South Africans, and...

Super Wrap
SuperWrap: Week 14, 2015
An optimist will look at a glass of water and call it half-full. A pessimist will look at that same...