Quade Cooper in the Corporate Box Gym in Brisbane. Photo: Paul Harris
Quade Cooper, meet Barry Dunnett, the man who will be standing on the other side of the ring when you make your professional boxing debut.
The Muay Thai veteran, who also has a pair of boxing bouts on his record, has been unveiled as the opponent when the Queensland Reds and Wallaby star steps into the squared ring on February 8 in Brisbane.
The pair will meet face-to-face for the first time on Friday as they face off for a media session at the Kangaroo Point Cliffs. It will be Cooper's first stare-down against a man who appears decent enough not to be a total cakewalk in the five-eighth's first foray into the sweet science.
Barry Dunnett, that's who. He fights Quade Cooper on Feb 8.
Cooper has impressed in his work in the inner-city gym on Brisbane's north where he has based himself in preparation for the fight. Dunnett also used to train at Shannon King's Corporate Box facility and King said the 32-year-old had some credentials as a fighter.
"He's fought for a Queensland light heavyweight Thai boxing title. He's had two pro-boxing fights, one win and one loss, in 2010," King said.
"He's not a basketball player turned boxer. It's all he's done for the past eight years as a sport. If he goes down, it will be because he's sleeping, or because he's got a rib pushing on a vital organ. He won't give up."
Dunnett has reportedly fought 15 times under Muay Thai rules, which allow elbows and knees, and had two boxing bouts in 2010.
Amarbir Singh knocked him out in the first round in a light heavyweight fight in Sydney and just six days later, Dunnett backed up to beat Jason Steward in a split decision through four rounds at Airlie Beach in north Queensland.
Cooper has been fitting his fight training around his pre-season at Ballymore and both his rugby and boxing coaches are delighted with his progress.
The fight will appear on the undercard of Sonny Bill Williams's heavyweight bout with South African heavyweight Francois Botha at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre.