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Ma'afu over Cooper clash

Date

Chris Dutton

Salesi Ma'afu punches Quade Cooper. <i>Screen grab courtesy of Fox Sports.</i>

Salesi Ma'afu punches Quade Cooper. Screen grab courtesy of Fox Sports.

Salesi Ma'afu doesn't want to be linked with Quade Cooper's boxing career despite the former Wallabies five-eighth saying an on-field clash with the prop in Canberra proves he can step into the ring.

Cooper cited a push and shove with then ACT Brumbies front-rower Ma'afu in March 2011 as evidence he was ready for the ring, saying: ''He's a big bopper and I got up from that.''

But Ma'afu - now at the Western Force - on Wednesday distanced himself from Cooper's comments.

Salesi Ma'afu doesn't want to be linked with Quade Cooper's boxing career.

Salesi Ma'afu doesn't want to be linked with Quade Cooper's boxing career. Photo: Getty Images

''I don't really want to even talk about it,'' Ma'afu said. ''There was nothing in it. It was just a bit of retaliation after he got me during a clean out [in a ruck].''

Cooper is set to have his first bout at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre in February on the undercard of Sonny Bill Williams's fight.

However, Cooper has almost no boxing experience and citing an innocuous clash with Ma'afu could see him in for a rude shock in the ring. Cooper was holding on to Ma'afu at a ruck and the powerful prop gave him a tap so he could rejoin play. ''I just wanted to get on with the game - there are bigger things than personal battles on the field,'' Ma'afu said.

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