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Opinion

Which NRL players could transition to combat sport?

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Roar Rookie
29th January, 2021
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Next month, Townsville will host the All-Stars Boxing Footy Rivals fight night with a mixture of current and former NRL stars entering the boxing ring.

Out of the 12 NRL stars fighting, only three have a handful of fights under their belt (Justin Hodges, Todd Carney and Junior Paulo).

Paul Gallen, Sonny Bill Williams and Anthony Mundine are some of the big names that have had great success transitioning to boxing. In the UFC, Tai Tuivasa (Sydney Roosters under-20s) has made a name for himself and UFC featherweight champion Alex Volkanovski played rugby league most of his life before moving to MMA.

With more NRL players making a transition to boxing for celebrities fights, which players could actually make a career in a combat sport?

Josh Addo-Carr: Boxing (super middleweight)
Josh Addo-Carr already has boxing in his blood with his late grandfather, Wally Carr, being a former light-heavyweight champion, middleweight champion and super-middleweight champion of Australia. Josh Addo-Carr is an extremely fast winger and light on his feet which makes him an ideal candidate for a successful transition to boxing.

Addin Fonua-Blake: Boxing (heavyweight)
Addin Fonua-Blake is a powerful front-rower and has great footwork for a big man. There was a video circulating of him on the pads and it was crazy the amount of power his punches produced. I would love to see him transition to boxing and take on someone like Paul Gallen.

Josh Aloiai: Boxing (heavyweight)
Josh Aloiai already has huge support behind him for making a move to boxing and has one win to his name in amateur boxing. His father was also a national jiu-jitsu champion of New Zealand. At 25 years of age, don’t be surprised to see him make a move to boxing in the future.

Cameron Smith: Wrestling/BJJ (lightweight)
Cameron Smith has worked with the Storm wrestling coach for many years and has perfected every technique in the book. Maybe he makes a strong transition to BJJ in another universe.

Who else would you add to this list?

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