A huge line up of AFL’s biggest names will swap boots for boxing gloves at a fight night certain to be full of ferocity in Melbourne in August.
The all-star card of footballers will meet in All Stars Boxing - Footy Fight Night, a prime-time, pay-per-view extravaganza at Margaret Court Arena featuring greats from teams spread across the AFL competition.
This will be the biggest AFL footy fight night in Australian history.
The highlights include bouts between two glamour forwards used to dominating their 50-metre arc on the field instead of the boxing ring.
Brownlow Medallists Dane Swan and Adam Cooney will also square off in a fight between masterful midfielders.
Former Carlton cult figure and dual Coleman Medallist Brendan Fevola was the AFL’s champion goal kicker in 2006 and 2009. Now 41, a popular radio host with a knack for a verbal jab or two when needed, another famous forward wants to give the spearhead a bad case of the blues on Fight Night: Cameron Mooney.
“This is so out of my comfort zone and something I’ve never done before – I never thought I’d box, ever,” said Fevola.
“It’s exciting and scary because when you’re in that ring, there’s only you and one other person, and you can either go out on the canvas or have victory. It’s going to be a challenge, and that’s why I’m doing it.”
Mooney, a three-time premiership player with North Melbourne and Geelong was dubbed the ‘big angry Cat’ in his playing days. Since trading his playing boots for real estate, he knows what it takes to go all the way, and the Footy Fight Night will be no different.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve had to do anything too competitive, so I’m really looking forward to getting out there in that ring,” said Mooney.
“I have stayed relatively fit since finishing footy, but boxing training is a whole new regime.
“Fev is an entertainer – he was on the footy field, and now he’s made a living out of it, so once he steps onto that canvas, there will be bit of that, but I think he’ll really pack a punch.”
At their best, Adam Cooney and Dane Swan had the ability to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee on the field.
Cooney, a Western Bulldog with bite through the midfield, won the Brownlow Medal in 2008.
Swan, who was part of Collingwood’s infamous “Rat Pack”, enjoyed a brilliant career highlighted by his own Brownlow Medal success in 2011.
The Magpie is no stranger to the fight game. The boxing fan who won the Anzac Day medal in 2012 and 2014 is looking forward to his shot in the ring.
“I have so much respect for boxers because it’s the hardest training you can do, harder than what I’m used to, so let’s so how I go on Fight Night. I just have to try and be standing after six minutes of boxing.”
Based on their playing weights, Swan holds an advantage over Cooney, but the former Bulldog and Bomber is a couple of years younger than his rival.
“I did some sparring at the Western Bulldogs, but it was more body sparring and a lot more controlled,” said Cooney.
“I did used to watch a bit of Will Tomlinson because he’s a good Melbourne boy who lived in Yarraville around the corner from me, and now he’s actually training me, so it’s worked out pretty well.”
As for the bout, Cooney has an agenda that will sure make for one great fight.
“I still hold the grudge against Swanny for a game in 2010 when he torched us then they went on to the grand final. I think Swanny’s pretty tough, and he’s in pretty good nick too so I’ve got a fair bit of work to do,” said Cooney.
Several other top footballers have also been in the ring recently, fine-tuning their boxing skills. Additional fights will added to the card in coming weeks with discussions being held with other footy stars.
Bouts on Footy Fight Night will consist of three two-minute rounds with referees supplied by Combat Victoria.
Tickets to watch the footy greats do battle in the ring go on sale tomorrow via Ticketek at 12.00pm, priced from $49, along with VIP ringside seats starting at $495pp. Visit www.allstarsboxing.com.au for more information.
For those unable to capture the excitement live, the full boxing card will be shown on Kayo and Main Event as a pay-per-view offering.
Featuring some of footy's biggest names
Wednesday, August 3
Doors open 5.00pm
Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne