Quade Cooper might want to make the most of his latest bout in January, after ARU boss Bill Pulver made it clear he doesn’t like the idea of the Wallabies’ vice-captain combining rugby and boxing.
Cooper is slated to fight on Anthony Mundine’s undercard on January 29 in Brisbane, but continuing his career in the ring could prove difficult, with the star five-eighth to negotiate a new deal with the ARU later next year.
Pulver said he couldn’t be more impressed with Cooper’s career turnaround in 2013, but indicated boxing could be off the table in future contract talks.
The ARU chief is against one of his most valuable commodities risking injury in another sport.
“Quade has an agreement in place which does allow him to participate in that. Personally I’m not a huge fan of it, I’ve got to tell you. I wasn’t around when that agreement was put in place,” Pulver said.
“Quade in my mind has … done a great job for Australian rugby throughout this year, I could not be more glowing in my praise of his personal performance over the course of the last six months.
“My personal preference would be he’s not stepping into a ring but it is what it is.”
Cooper won his debut professional fight by knockout in February and showed potential as a boxer.
Cooper hoped he would be allowed to vie for an Australian boxing title in the next two years but stressed that rugby was his first love.
“It is (frustrating having one fight) if you look at it like that but I look at it that it’s great that I am even allowed to have one fight a year,” Cooper said in Brisbane.
“I think of it as a bonus being able to do something I love to do outside the parameters of rugby which I am basically doing 12 months of the year.
“I am in a very fortunate position.”
“I don’t want the rugby world to think I am neglecting the sport and I don’t want the boxing community to think I am not treating it seriously.
“But rugby is my initial love. I am in a good head space with rugby.”