NRL Forward Throws in the Towel to Pursue Boxing

Ben H / 17 August 2023

Bulldogs forward Tevita Pangai Jr has shocked his employers and the NRL by declaring that he was quitting the sport and going into boxing. Pangai Jr has a year left on his contract with the Canterbury Bulldogs worth $750,000, but won’t see his professional engagements out. He informed the Bulldogs that the game against the Gold Coast Titans will be his last one.

Could Make a Fortune

The 27-year-old made his first NRL appearance in 2016 for the Brisbane Broncos. He went on to play six games for the Penrith Panthers before joining his current team, the Bulldogs. The forward was a State of Origin debutant this year but played only once for NSW in the first game of the series.

Despite being tipped to become one of the most imposing forwards in the league, Pangai Jr’s NRL career hasn’t quite managed to hit those heights. That doesn’t matter much now, though, as he has decided to leave the NRL and pursue a different sport.

Pangai Jr has already fought two professional bouts and won them both, with the most recent one being a knockout victory over Jeremiah Tupai-ui.

Should he continue that winning streak, Pangai Jr could make quite a lot of money. Paul Gallen made a fortune by fighting in the boxing ring after he retired from the NRL, and Pangai Jr would certainly look to follow in his footsteps.

Boxing Promoters Love Stars that Change Sports

One of the things that he has going for him, other than his natural ability, is that promoters are always looking for athletes who change codes to go into boxing. The Justin Hodges, Ben Hannant and Paul Gallen event is a great example.

 Former AFL star Cameron Mooney, AFLW’s Tayla Harris, and ex-Essendon Football Club forward have all ventured into boxing too, albeit with mixed success.

Bellchambers impressed in the fight against Mooney, while Tayla Harris was bashed around in her latest appearance and suffered her first professional defeat.

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Ben H
Ben Harris is the Communications Manager for KRUZEY, an AFL expert, and writer. He has one daughter that he loves dearly and four children's books... [Read full bio]

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