Willie Mason Will Enter the Boxing Ring to Support Charity

Willie Mason says his father's unsuccessful fight against cancer is the reason he wants to step an Auckland boxing ring for charity.

Rugby league star Willie Mason says his father's battle with cancer is the reason he's stepping into the boxing ring in a charity fund-raiser.

The former Australia and NSW forward will headline a Fight for Life boxing event in Auckland when he fights a yet-to-be named All Black in December in support of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand.

"Whenever I hear the word 'cancer', it sets me back for a second or two," said Mason, whose father, Ian, died from the disease 15 years ago.

While it wasn't prostate cancer his father succumbed to, the 32-year-old Mason said cancer was cancer for anyone who had suffered a loss like his family did.

"So, when I heard the charity was a cancer awareness one, the decision to get inside those ropes was an easy one," said the Newcastle Knights player.

"If I can convince blokes to go and get checked and save their kids from having to go through what I went through in 1997, then every second inside the ring would have been worth it."

The Fight for Life event is been billed as a "battle of the codes" between rugby union and league.

Among those who took part last year were present and past All Blacks Liam Messam, Christian Cullen and Carlos Spencer, dual Australian international Wendell Sailor and Kiwis hooker Issac Luke.

Mason knows he isn't the most popular person in New Zealand.

In 2006, he angered Kiwis fans when he appeared to disrespect the haka before what turned out to be a spiteful trans-Tasman Test in Auckland.

He hopes his decision to get into the ring for charity will gain him a bit more respect on this side of the Tasman.

Tags: Amateur Boxing image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Malius on 09-25-2012

Another past it League player picking up boxing. Least he is doing it for charity.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (1)
Top Headlines George Foreman: Joshua Could Be Become an All-Time Great Andy Lee Wants Tough Fight, Gennady Golovkin Showdown Carl Frampton: I'll Beat Leo Santa Cruz Even More Convincingly! Jack: DeGale is Very Tough, I’ll Win and Be Best at 168 Arthur Abraham Out Of Martin Murray Rematch In Monte Carlo Craig Cunningham Heading To 154 After Shocker Over Ogogo Photos: Juanma Grinds Hard For Wilfredo Vazquez Grudge Fight Denis Shafikov vs. Richard Commey Set, Heading To Russia Broner vs. Granados on Feb. 11, Thurman vs. Garcia on March 4 Badou Jack vs. James DeGale Unification Set For January 14 Hosea Burton vs. Frank Buglioni Lands on Anthony Joshua Card Claressa Shields Pro Debut Finalized For Kovalev vs. Ward PPV Payano Eyes December Return in Quest For Second Title Reign Jason Sosa Embraces Smith Defense, Eyes Three Fights in 2017 Arum Apologizes To King For Post-Presidential Debate Vegas Spat Felix Verdejo is Very Eager To Get His Hands on Terry Flanagan Bob Arum on The Possibility of Miguel Cotto vs. Timothy Bradley Abel Sanchez: Ponamarev Likely Back on Lomachenko vs. Walters Bryant Jennings Ready To Step In, Face Anthony Joshua on 12/10 Dereck Chisora: Dillian Whyte is Nothing - I Will Stop Him! Vernon Forrest - Third Man Has Been Convicted in His Murder Pacquiao Feels Brunt of Long Flight, Takes Off From Training Marquez: If Canelo Trades With Golovkin - He's Committing Suicide! Lucas Browne Finds Himself in Limbo After Klitschko's Injury Andre Ward Aims To Set The Record Straight With Sergey Kovalev Video: Joe Smith Jr. Very Pumped To Face Bernard Hopkins Haye Explains Why Anthony Joshua-Eric Molina is Next - Not Price Marrero vs. Zambrano Talks Progress As Purse Bid Looms Klitschko's Manager Says Unfinished Contract Led To 2017 Jump Video: Oscar De La Hoya on Schaefer's Return, Hopkins, More Photos: Bernard Hopkins, Joe Smith Jr. - Face To Face at Presser Anthony Mundine, Danny Green Rematch Set For February 3 Video: Bernard Hopkins, Joe Smith - Go Face To Face Video: Bernard Hopkins Breaks Down Joe Smith Showdown Arum on Parker vs. Ruiz Possibly Heading To The United States Joshua-Klitschko Eyed For March, April at Principality Stadium Vanes Martirosyan: I’m Not Happy With Al Haymon, My Promoter Josh Hernandez Inks Promotional With Warriors Boxing Hearn Looks Ahead For Joshua, Hoping For Klitschko in 2017 Manny Pacquiao Noncommittal on Fighting Beyond November 5

Latest Active Forum Threads