Tevita Pangai Junior's first boxing fight has been announced since he confirmed he would be stepping away from the game and retiring from rugby league.
It has been reported by News Corp that he will launch his boxing career post-retirement on Saturday, October 7, at the Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre. While his opponent is yet to be announced, the card also includes front-rower behemoths Junior Paulo and Nelson Asofa-Solomona.
Having competed already in two fights, he holds an unbeaten record against opponents Gerico Cecil and Jerry Tupai. The latter was a second-round knockout in Sydney last year.
The publication also understands that Pangai Junior's brother Jermain has also inked a deal to be included on the card, while Tevita will still be recognised as the headline act on the card.
Speaking to News Corp, Pangai Junior's trainer, Chris McCullen, revealed that he believes the former NSW Blues forward can succeed in the ring as a boxer. In his own right, McCullen is a former Australian super lightweight champion.
“There is no doubt in my mind he can win an Australian heavyweight title," McCullen said.
“It's up to Tevita, but he has this dedication that is different to anything I have seen. He has a love and passion for the sport that is really genuine.
“He is determined to really learn the craft. He isn't taking the piss out of the sport because of his profile, he wants to take it seriously and go in against actual fighters and take on fighters who will test him.
“Obviously, he's not ready yet for guys like Justis Huni and Joe Goodall, but there's a lot of Australian heavyweights he can beat.
“He has the ability and intellect to be able to adapt. If I give Tevita an instruction, he will return the next day and fix it. It's amazing how hard he works at it.
“He has the power to knock people out and he definitely has the size to be a credible heavyweight.”