NRL players spark investigation after attending Tim Tszyu fight

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
James Roberts, pictured here in action for Wests Tigers against the Canberra Raiders.
James Roberts in action for Wests Tigers against the Canberra Raiders. (Photo by Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The NRL has reportedly issued a please explain to the Wests Tigers over James Roberts' attendance at the Tim Tszyu-Dennis Hogan fight.

Roberts attended the fight in Newcastle on Wednesday night despite an NRL directive that players weren't allowed.

'QUITE EMOTIONAL': Unseen moment of class in Tim Tszyu fight

PROUD DAD: Kostya's touching message after Tim Tszyu masterclass

The league sent an email to clubs on Wednesday afternoon saying players weren't permitted to attend after enacting level-two COVID-19 protocols.

South Sydney stars Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker were also in attendance but were given an exemption to be part of Tszyu's entourage.

Mitchell and Walker were allowed into Tszyu's biosecurity bubble on the priviso that they wore masks and maintained adequate social distancing.

However Roberts reportedly didn't seek an exemption and wasn't wearing a mask.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Parramatta player Will Smith was also at the fight.

Under the NRL's new restrictions, players are required to wear masks while indoors at public venues.

Both Mitchell and Walker trained with the Rabbitohs on Thursday before their Good Friday clash with Canterbury, while Roberts is awaiting a possible sanction from the NRL.

Last year the NRL handed down a range of punishments for varied breaches of the league's biosecurity laws last year, including fines and suspensions.

Currently Canterbury and Brisbane players are under the harshest restrictions since playing at Suncorp Stadium last Saturday after which the city went into a three-day lockdown.

On Thursday, the Queensland government announced it was lifting the lockdown restrictions from noon, which has alleviated some doubt about whether Magic Round would go ahead at Suncorp Stadium in round 10.

The Broncos and Gold Coast sides have also been relocated to Sydney for the time being.

Bulldogs players have been tested for COVID-19 and are expected to be cleared before they play the Rabbitohs on Friday afternoon at Stadium Australia.

Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker, pictured here at the Tim Tszyu fight.
Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker watch on at Tim Tszyu's fight. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

Tim Tszyu plots next move after dominant win

Tszyu maintains he's only just getting started, eyeing global boxing super-stardom after extending his unbeaten record to 18-0.

Tszyu continued his relentless pursuit of world-title glory with a brutal win over Hogan in their Steel City Showdown.

The 26-year-old son of former multiple light-welterweight world champion Kostya Tszyu wants the "big boys" of his division and won't rest until he not only emulates his famous father but surpasses his every accomplishment in the sport.

"I'm not satisfied. I haven't achieved anything in my eyes yet," Tszyu said on Thursday.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

"My dad was an undisputed world champion for 10 years. What have I done?

"Give me a few years. I've got a long way to go.

"My comparisons and my goals are out of this world and that's what I'm going to be striving for."

Tszyu will likely have to wait for the winner of a unifying title bout between American Jermell Charlo, the WBC, WBA and IBF belt holder, and Argentine Brian Castano, who holds the WBO strap.

"If Charlo wins, there's every chance Timmy will be mandatory for Charlo, which would be unification ton of straps," Tszyu's manager Glen Jennings said.

"Let's see. It's all a political game but we'll see how it all falls.

"I can say this, we will stay busy regardless and we will be working from tomorrow on securing his next fight."

with AAP

Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.