Rising rugby league star aiming to step into squared circle in Birmingham


17-year-old rugby league talent Jermaine Pangai is hoping to continue his promising boxing career with a goal of making the Birmingham Commonwealth Games team.

The Canterbury Bulldogs national rugby league team has signed 17-year-old Jermaine Pangai, the younger brother of the Bulldogs star forward Tevita Pangai Jr.

However, the teenage rugby sensation and potential NRL player has one eye on representing Australia in the boxing ring at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Pangai, who is a 110kg heavyweight in the ring, displayed his talents between the ropes earlier this year with a thrilling five-round slug-fest against Alex Leapai Jr – the son of Australian heavyweight legend Alex Leapai.

“I’d love to get to the Commonwealth Games, it would be a great opportunity to show my skills and what I can do in the ring,’’ Pangai told News Corp.

“I’m aiming to make the NRL, but also continue to box.

“I feel grateful the Bulldogs have given me this opportunity. I’ll probably do boxing in the morning and footy training in the afternoons, which will be good.’

Australian boxers enjoyed a golden Gold Coast Games, with the squad’s eight medals the best ever result for the green and gold at the Commonwealth Games.

Skye Nicolson, Anja Stridsman and Harry Garside won gold, Caitlin Parker and Jason Whateley silver, and Clay Waterman, Taylah Robertson and Kaye Scott bronze.

Pangai would be hoping to join Harold Harwick in London 1911 and Brad Pitt in Melbourne 2006 as only the third heavyweight gold medallist in Australia’s Commonwealth Games history.

The teenager has time to work on his skills ahead of Boxing Australia’s Commonwealth Games nomination event, which is scheduled to be held in April 2022.

Pangai has a unique opportunity to hone his craft inside the ring and also work on his burgeoning NRL career, while his brother seeks to do the same.

Pangai junior is also set to step into the ring.

But Pangai junior believes that his younger brother has him covered in the ring, and a professional boxing career is not out of the question.

“I think he’s a better boxer. He’s definitely a better boxer than me,” Pangai junior told News Corp.

“But I told him with discipline and hard work, you can do anything.

“He’s got the size and he’s got the determination to do well, but its now just continue to develop his game while making sure I guide him in the right direction.”

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will take place from 28 July to 8 August 2022.

To be in the stands in Birmingham supporting the next generation of Australian boxers and the rest of the Australian team, for the first time Australian families and fans will be able to access group tickets for all events at the Commonwealth Games.

The Family & Fans Tour ensures Australian families and fans can sit and cheer together, stay together and play together at the Birmingham Games.

Tour packages are available for all sports; however, numbers are limited.

Bookings are now open, learn more about the Family & Fans Tour below.


The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games is coming – and you could be there to witness history in the making.



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