Quade Cooper says he won’t let anything interfere with his boxing after crediting it with him being considered Wallabies captaincy material.
Boxing keeps Quade Cooper “sane” and the Wallabies vice-captain is determined to keep fighting after he negotiates his next Australian rugby contract.
Cooper is preparing for his second professional 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 determined that nothing will stop him boxing and credits it with helping him as he got his once shaky Wallabies career back on track.
“It’s made me a more disciplined person and better athlete and only helped my rugby,” Cooper told AAP.
“And it keeps you sane.
“It’s a great way of escaping from the pressure of being a footballer.
“I love doing both. I won’t let either one come in the way of the other.
“I still haven’t had a chat with Bill (Pulver) but after everything is out of the way I’m sure we’ll be able to sit down and chat about the future.
“I’d love to continue to do it (boxing) and I will continue to do it.”
With incumbent Wallabies skipper Ben Mowen declaring plans to head overseas, coach Ewen McKenzie has confirmed 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 environment then as “toxic”.
Will Genia, James Horwill and David Pocock – all of whom have captained the Wallabies, unlike Cooper – are also expected to be considered for the role when the international season begins with three home Tests against France in June.
“It’s a great honour to have your name thrown in the hat with the likes of Will Genia, James Horwill and Dave Pocock,” Cooper said.
“I am not focusing on that. I just want to be the best teammate I can be.
“Whether that is training as hard as possible, helping my teammates better themselves or me striving to be a better person on and off the field.
“The captaincy is something that will be dealt with down the track.”
Cooper missed the Reds’ final Super Rugby trial against the Chiefs to fight Barry Dunnett last February and emerged with an impressive first round knockout win.
Cooper now lines up against Tresidder – 15 years older – who has had one professional bout which ended in a split points loss to ex-England cricketer Adam Hollioake but is backed by 25 years as a cage fighter.