Parramatta Eels star Junior Paulo set to skip pre-season for boxing showdown

a6552092e74b0b28effd6381f79b47a7 400w, 480w, 650w, 700w" alt="Junior Paulo and Neville Costigan are set to face off in February. Picture: Evan Morgan" />Junior Paulo and Neville Costigan are set to face off in February. Picture: Evan MorganSource: News Corp Australia

Paramatta Eels powerhouse Junior Paulo is hoping to miss his side’s pre-season training so he can prepare for an upcoming boxing bout.

The prop is set to don the gloves against former Raiders and QLD star Neville Costigan at the All Stars Rugby League fight night on February 12 in Townsville.

And he’s hopeful Eels coach Brad Arthur will allow him to skip pre-season to focus on the fight.

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Paulo told The Daily Telegraph: “I am two weeks into a seven-week fight camp and I am hoping to continue the boxing training full-time.

“I have been training six days a week and I am hoping I will be able to continue instead of returning to the Eels pre-season. I haven’t heard back yet but I am hoping he (Brad) will be okay with it. I think he knows that the preparation I am doing for this fight will have me coming back at my best for the season.”

“I am training harder than ever and it will be the best preparation I can have for the 2021 season,” he added.


“The fittest I have ever been is before my fight in 2016 and I respond well to the different style training. I think Brad knows that this type of training will have me at my best for the start of the season.”

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It will be just the 27-year-old’s second fight – the first was a loss to Paul Gallen in 2016 – but Paulo has signalled his intent to become a full-time boxer once his NRL career concludes.

“I have given it a bit of thought and I would like to take it up full time one day. League is all I have ever known and boxing is something I definitely want to pursue once I finish football.”

In what would be another juicy all-NRL clash, Paulo also said he’d like to face off with Maroons star Jai Arrow in the ring.

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  • I'm pretty sure the toughest pre season ever would better prepare him for a fight than whatever it is this so called journalist thinks he may be doing to prepare.

    • Don't believe that for a second. No disrespect to the Eels conditioning staff, but boxing training is the physically hardest training I've ever done. Full respect for any boxer's aerobic capacity. 

  • for those that didn,t see the recent Gallen fight here are some highlights

  • Tweet out by the club indicating he will be doing pre-season.

  • OK this is only 1 player, but remember back when the team took their eye of the ball to go to a boxing match instead, what sort of season did they have back then.If a player/team is not TOTALLY committed to the season on hand failure will always be the result, if he wants to fight let him, but tear up his contract first.

    • Hopefully this is just Junior getting a little excited and carried away about a pretty meaningless fight.

      I would hope the Eels sat him down and reminded him where his focus should be and that he then calmed down and realised it was a pretty stupid thought.

      Let's not tear up any contracts at this stage. He is well and truly required.

    • This reply was deleted.
      • This reply was deleted.
        • It's 'their' FFS. Once, you get away with it, but twice and you're a dumbass extraordinaire.

          It would appear that you fall into the 'twice', category...

  • Couldn't see Jack gibson giving approval for ray price to prepare for a Micky Mouse fight. Fucken joke that's why parramatta will not win a premiership while Arthur in charge is too soft on his players. I'm a die hard supporter gone through high times and the low times I'm a realist only telling the truth from the heart. These players these days wouldn't know how to tackle with a shoulder only jersey grabbing would make oz tag players 

    • Awwww yeah, nah, um....okay.

      Apart From that they're okay 🤣


    • JP, spoke to BA?  the report that has come out and making out that he has the say in this off eels training biso can be best summed up by the following presser.

      But the Eels responded with a public statement on Twitter, writing: “The Eels and Junior Paulo have always maintained that his first priority is to be ready for our trial against the Panthers in February.

       “All of his training is being monitored and overseen by the Eels high performance department to make sure his [sic] ready for the 2021 season.

      “Junior will be returning to pre-season training in January as agreed.”

      I would suggest that has come not from BA, but from the eels CEO who would be making the decisions that mean JP has to abide by his contract with the eels.

This reply was deleted.

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