Johannesburg - All Black loose forward Liam Messam will make his boxing debut in Sydney this weekend, the supersport.com website reports.
The 1.90m, 108kg New Zealander will join All Black Sonny Bill Williams and Wallaby Quade Cooper in a charity tournament called Footy Show Fight Night. Australian football star Paul Gallen will also be in action.
Messam is scheduled to take on an Australian, Rhys Sullivan, who has lost each of his three fights inside the distance.
The main bout will be between Williams and Chauncy Welliver, an American veteran who also fights out of Auckland.
Williams, who is expected to represent New Zealand at this year’s Rugby World Cup tournament, has won all six his professional bouts, including one against South African veteran Francois Botha.
He is coached by Anthony Mundine, a former middleweight champion and one of the most successful Australian boxers.
The 31-year-old Welliver has a record of 55-10, with five draws and 22 wins inside the distance. He is 1.88m tall, weighs about 130kg and has lost his three most recent fights.
Cooper, who is rated alongside Williams as one of the most gifted backs in international rugby and should represent Australia at the World Cup, has won both his professional bouts. His opponent has not been named.
Gallen will also appear in his third fight. He will have a mixed martial arts fighter, Randall Rayment, as his opponent.
Another talented football player, Willis Meehan, is expected to fight Freddie Miller in one of the early bouts. Meehan’s father Kali was a prominent heavyweight.