Tomorrow morning-to-afternoon Irish time, Wallabies rugby star Quade Cooper partakes in his third professional boxing contest on the undercard of Anthony Mundine's all-Aussie grudge rematch with Danny Green.
Cruiserweight 'Super' Cooper is 2-0(2KOs) as a pro boxer, having fought twice in an 11-month spell between 2013 and 2014, but returns to the ring at the Adelaide Oval tomorrow seeking his third stoppage on the spin.
The fight, like those of Sonny Bill Williams (with whom Cooper has previously shared a card), is a side-show on an already maligned card between Green and Mundine. The Queensland Reds playmaker could be described as an 'occasional boxer', and has been granted permission by his Super Rugby club despite the chance of picking up injury ahead of the new season.
While it's perhaps an intriguing narrative for rugby fans, boxing fans - particularly in Australia - are disgusted by Cooper's upcoming scrap; it's not that they feel he doesn't belong in the ring, however, but the standard of opponent he'll face tomorrow.
Enter 22-year-old heavyweight Jack McInnes...
Presumed this was a joke when I saw it, but I now fear it's genuine. Quade Cooper is fighting a podgy 14 year old tomorrow night. pic.twitter.com/pVXbfIVeDs
— Paul D Gibson (@PaulieDGibson) February 2, 2017
McKinnes is currently 0-2 as a professional boxer, having been stopped twice in his first two fights.
He told the Fraser Coast Chronicle of the opportunity to fight a significant Aussie sporting figure:
It was one of my dreams to fight on one of these cards so it's the best opportunity for me to do it.
I thought it was a big prank when they told me it was Quade Cooper I'd be fighting. But no, I knew the fella who texted me and it was all legit.
What makes it worse, however, is the fact that McKinnes has had to lose 10kg in the 10 days leading up to the fight in order to make Cooper's cruiserweight limit. The only thing legitimate about this fight is the fact that Cooper will legitimately have faced more pushback from tackle bags than he will from McKinnes, for all the latter's efforts.
Of his weight, McKinnes continued:
Trying to lose too much weight is doing my body harm and I'm not coping well so this will be the last fight.
He'll doubtless want to step away from the ring with a yarn about how he knocked the blocks off a 67-cap Wallaby, but the Australian sporting public are absolutely fuming that the farcical contest has been sanctioned at all, such is McKinnes' obvious disposition.
— David Donnelley (@DavidDonnelley) February 2, 2017
— Blash (@Blash1975) February 2, 2017
— TheNoDickheadsPolicy (@NoDickheads) February 2, 2017
— @Georgebakhos1 (@GeorgeBakhos1) February 2, 2017
— RedsRugbyTragic (@RedsRugbyTragic) February 2, 2017
Some wee lad won a raffle and he gets to punch Quade Cooper. Blue Peter contests weren't this good when I was a kid https://t.co/LncrWD6KWb
— Roarz (@Roarzz) February 2, 2017
whatever the result there will be no winners in this fight. Rugby would be wise to distance itself from this absolute joke of a match up.
— Bronson Sainsbury (@ThenCameBrons0n) February 2, 2017
If these are the types of fighters Cooper trades leather with, one can only hope 'Quadey' pulls the curtain on his own brief boxing career sooner rather than later.