Australian heavyweight title contender Ben Edwards would fight Sonny-Bill Williams or Paul Gallen "for free", but isn't holding his breath for the football stars to answer his challenge.
Four years after missing out on the title, Edwards gets his shot at retribution when he takes on Queenslander Hunter Sam for the vacant Australian National Boxing Federation heavyweight championship at the Hellenic Club, Woden on February 27.
It promises to be the biggest fight in Canberra since Edwards knocked out controversial former rugby league star John Hopoate in 2007.
Victory for Edwards would boost the stocks of the 30-year-old as he aims to add a world boxing title to his kickboxing belts.
But Edwards also knows his profile would sky-rocket if he could secure a fight with All Blacks star Williams or Blues skipper Gallen.
"I'd fight them for free for the exposure that would give me, but their management don't want their cash cow getting knocked out," Edwards said.
"Sonny Bill and Gallen, that's a one-round fight, that's an easy fight, they're amateurs. They're awesome athletes, don't get me wrong, but you don't dabble in fighting, it's not a game that you play part-time."
Williams and Gallen are both undefeated in their respective professional boxing careers.
Williams improved to 6-0 with victory against American Chauncy Welliver, while Gallen is a perfect three from three after beating Randall Rayment.
"There's a potential Anzac theme showdown with Sonny Bill because he's the New Zealand champ, and if I win, I'd be the Australian champ," Edwards said. "But Sonny Bill's management will never put him in with someone who's half dangerous."
Edwards (4-0-1) has had only five professional boxing fights, but has fought another 50 times in kickboxing.
He is coming off a comprehensive first round knock-out of Tafa Misipati last November.
"I'll fight whoever is in front of me in the rankings," Edwards said. "I'm 100 per cent committed to boxing and don't have one foot out the door.
"The next five years should be my prime and hopefully we're lining up for a world title."
Sam won't be a pushover. The 30-year-old has a record of 11-3-2 and is ranked fourth in Australia, while Edwards is sixth.
It will be the second chance Edwards has to win the Australian title after his fight with Michael Kirby in 2011 ended in a draw.
"It was a bit of a dud fight," Edwards said. "I only had three or four boxing fights at the time and I wasn't very experienced. I'm a whole different athlete."
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL BOXING FEDERATION HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: Ben Edwards (ACT) v Hunter Sam (Queensland) on Friday, February 27 at the Hellenic Club, Woden. Tickets are $50 general admission, $70 for ringside. Available at the Hellenic Club in Woden, Elite Supplements or by phoning Nick Butzsos on 0403 147 999.
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