Ex-NRL star Manu Vatuvei has kick-started his boxing career with a monstrous debut performance against a hapless opponent.
The former Warriors winger showed natural talent and pure power to annihilate David Letele on the Joseph Parker v Alexander Flores undercard in Christchurch.
‘The Beast’ has now been linked to a fight with Sharks skipper Paul Gallen, who’s currently on the lookout for his next fight.
“That’s something I want to do but I need a lot more experience and a lot more fights to get to where he is,” Vatuvei said of Gallen.
“I’m not too sure, just got to play it by ear at the moment.”
NRL great Manu Vatuvei swaps boots for gloves
Former Kiwis winger Manu Vatuvei insists he hasn’t retired from rugby league despite announcing a late-career switch to boxing.
The record try-scorer for the Warriors announced his intentions five months after being released from a Super League contract by English club Salford, having struggled with a leg injury.
“I’ve still got the passion to play rugby league, so that’s something I really want to do,” he said.
“I wasn’t quite ready to hang the boots up. I’ve still got that fire burning inside of me to keep playing and I’ll leave it to my manager to have a shop around.
“I’ve been out for a while, and this is a great time for my body to get back and start doing something.
“Right now I’m just concentrating on getting myself right, and my body in shape and ready, in case anything comes up.
“I love a good challenge, and hopefully things go well and we can put on a good show.”
He may yet see out his sporting career in the ring if he can make a fist of it.
The giant winger scored 152 tries in 226 Warriors appearances in a 14-season career which concluded last year.
He played 28 Tests for the Kiwis and two for Tonga.
Vatuvei’s only boxing experience has been at corporate events and he can expect a workout against 39-year-old heavyweight Letele, who has won 16 of his 19 pro fights.