Boxing keeps Quade Cooper and the Wallabies vice-captain is strong-minded to keep fighting after he negotiates his next Australian rugby agreement. Cooper is preparing for his second specialized fight – a match-up against 40-year-old Newcastle boxer Warren “The Fortress” Tresidder in Brisbane on Wednesday night as part of Anthony Mundine’s undercard.
He is aware Australian Rugby Union boss Bill Pulver has hinted boxing could be off the table when they negotiate a new deal, with Cooper’s current contract due to expire later this year. However, the Queensland Reds playmaker is strong-minded that nothing will stop him boxing and credits it with serving him as he got his once shaky Wallabies career back on track.
With incumbent Wallabies skipper Ben Mowen declaring plans to head overseas, coach Ewen McKenzie has long-established Cooper is among those in the mix to take over the national leadership less than two years after he was sidelined, having described the national team’s location then as “toxic”.
Will Genia, James Horwill and David Pocock – all of whom have captained the Wallabies, unlike Cooper – are also unsurprising to be measured for the role when the international season begins with three home Tests against France in June.
Cooper missed the Reds’ final Super Rugby trial against the Chiefs to fight Barry Dunnett last February and emerged with an imposing first round big achievement win. Cooper now lines up against Tresidder – 15 years older – who has had one professional bout which ended in a split point’s loss to ex-England cricketer Adam Hollioake but is backed by 25 years as a cage fighter.