Cory Paterson and Anthony Mundine shape up.FORMER Knights and Cowboys forward Cory Paterson will make his professional boxing debut at Newcastle Panthers next month before continuing his rugby league career in England.
Paterson will fight Samoan-born Sydney-based heavyweight Anton Tuilotolava on October 5 on the undercard to the rematch between Newcastle’s two-time former World Boxing Foundation welterweight champion Chad “Hollywood” Bennett and two-time former Commonwealth champion James Armah.
Paterson, a three-time Indigenous All Stars representative, insisted boxing was a pastime rather than a new profession, and he wanted to rekindle his league career under former Knights assistant coach Craig Sandercock at Super League club Hull Kingston Rovers next year.
“I spoke with Sandy about it and it’s all good,” Paterson said of his fight plan.
Apart from being coached by Sandercock, Paterson will join former Knights teammates Evarn Tuimavave, Shannon McDonnell and Con Mika at the Robins.
Paterson is training four days a week in Sydney with Anthony Mundine in preparation for his fight with Tuilotolava, who has lost all of his five professional bouts – four by knockout.
“It was mainly just to keep me fit during the off-season and stay active, then a chance came up for me,” Paterson said. “I always wanted to have a crack at it, so I’m going to give it a go.
“Obviously footy’s my heart and soul, so this is more just a hobby, really, and to keep fit.
“I’m not expecting or really wanting too much to come of it, it’s just a bit of fun, but I’ll train hard for it and hopefully I won’t get too bashed.”
Paterson said he felt indebted to his friend Mundine for showing him the ropes.
“He’s helping me out with the technical side, and I’m lucky that I’ve got a bit of a fitness base, because we only finished last week,” he said. “I’m just learning whatever I can off him, and whatever he says, I do, so I’m pretty lucky to have him around.”
Paterson played seven games for the Cowboys last year after being released by the Knights mid-season, but he managed only three NRL matches this season and the Cowboys released him from the final year of his contract so he could join Hull KR.
Unable to secure a regular spot in the Cowboys’ pack this year, he played most of the season for their Queensland Cup feeder team Northern Pride.