Mason takes gloves off - for now - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mason takes gloves off - for now

By Todd Balym 27/11/2007 07:28:48 PM Comments (0)

Willie Mason has put plans for a lucrative boxing bout on hold for 12 months to concentrate on his debut NRL season at the Sydney Roosters.

Mason joined the Roosters for his first training session on Monday after a dramatic off-season club switch from the Bulldogs.

The NSW and Test forward walked out on the Bulldogs after the club denied his request for a boxing bout in January, joining the Roosters with permission to pursue his pugilism interests.

Mason's boxing desire and his apparent feud with Dogs chief executive Malcolm Noad were central to his split from the Belmore club.

But just 24 hours after pulling on the Roosters' colours, Mason has had a change of heart and ruled out getting in the ring next year.

Mason's manager Greg Keenan on Tuesday confirmed plans for a boxing bout were on hold, but he would still seek opponents for a later date.

"Willie has today decided to put his professional heavyweight boxing debut on hold for 12 months," said Keenan in a statement.

"AMI Sport & Entertainment will continue to actively seek out potential opponents over the course of the upcoming rugby league season, ensuring that Willie's debut fight will be a significant sporting event."

Keenan said Mason decided to delay his boxing debut so he could properly prepare for the event and show greater respect to the sport.

"Willie is absolutely committed to boxing in the future but just feels that with only a short preparation he would be better off taking things slowly at this stage," said Keenan.

"After speaking with a number of people within the boxing community he feels that it would be best to put more time into learning the science of boxing rather than come out in January underprepared and potentially disrespect the sport.

"He is also mindful that his number one priority at the moment is to the Sydney Roosters."

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