Players to box despite V'landys warning

Players to box despite V'landys warning

Jason Taumalolo is poised to enter the boxing ring for the first time this summer with the revelation coming on the same day Peter V'landys warned players not to fight for their own safety.

ARL Commission chairman V'landys on Friday urged for players to stop boxing as part of the game's crusade against concussions and head knocks.

But the advice is set to fall on deaf ears, with NRL players Brandon Smith, Addin Fonua-Blake, Junior Paulo and Taumalolo to fight on an undercard for Justis Huni and Junior Fa.

The football fight night will be squeezed between the grand final and the World Cup in Townsville.

“We've got their contracts locked in, we have a contract with Townsville council locked in,” promoter Dean Lonergan told AAP.

But the news won't go down well with V'landys, who before the news on Friday said he wanted players to stay out of the ring.

“It worries me considerably. It's any hit to the head. If you get hit to the head consistently it will cause lifelong damage,” V'landys told 2GB on Friday morning.

“That's what the neurologists are telling me. It doesn't have to go to the stage of concussion, it's just a constant hit to the head.

“And that's proven in other sports where kids aren't allowed to head the ball in soccer at the moment until a certain age.

“If they are boxing in the off-season that is a concern to us, because they shouldn't be doing it.”

V'landys' comments come after Paul Gallen spent 10 rounds being belted by Olympics-bound Huni on Wednesday night, before he lost on TKO.

However, the game's boss accepted he would not be able to stop players fighting.

“You can't stop an individual's right to do what they want to do,” he said.

“But for their own welfare and own health, they have to consider it. Playing rugby league and doing boxing as well could have lifetime ramifications.”

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