Controversial former NRL center Joey Leilua has reportedly seen the door to a return to the NRL closed after a cursed blow at his critics last month.
In December, Leilua impressed in the boxing ring, defeating former two-time NRL winner Chris Heighington in a four-round bout.
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But while it was a fun fight as Leilua attacked all the way, his post-fight antics may have just officially ended his NRL career.
Although he passed out late in the fight after giving his all in the early rounds, Leilua shot his detractors after the fight.
âFor all those haters who said I can’t last four rounds – thanks buddy, you gave me inspiration tonight,â Leilua said.
âI knew I could fight. I just wanted to show the world I could fuck the last four rounds.
“The stereotype that I’m fat and can’t last four rounds, you know what, go away, there you go.”
But after an ugly exit from the Wests Tigers, the Daily Telegraph reported it was the last straw to shut the coffin on any future of the NRL.
An NRL CEO told the newspaper he had shut down any club that thought they could offer the controversial star a lifeline.
“He didn’t do himself any favors,” said the CEO. âHe’s the type of player who has the talent to come back from the UK, but we won’t see him in the NRL after that. It’s a loose cannon.
Leilua played for the Sydney Roosters, Newcastle Knights, Canberra Raiders and Tigers during his 225-game career, but was followed by controversy, including a ‘dog hit’ in 2020 when he got a four week suspension for a hanger on Panthers rear Dylan Edwards.
Leilua was in and out of the Tigers side in 2021 before being transferred by the club.
But Leilua didn’t hold back, targeting coach Michael Maguire, writing on Instagram: âBy the way, I wouldn’t play for someone who blames the team all the time! And not once himself! #Madge. “
The NRL double center of the year has signed for English second division club Featherstone Rovers.
But before his fight with Heighington, Leilua opened up about his polarizing career in the NRL.
When asked how people would describe him as a soccer player, he told Stay Fresh Media: “A bite”.
âPeople think of me as a soccer player, crazy and a bad person, but that’s the way I play.
âI don’t care who’s on the other teamâ¦ I go over there to hurt them, that’s what I’ve been doing my whole career, I really don’t care.
âMy best mate Tim Lafai, I played against him all the time and I didn’t care, and that was my mentality all the time and that’s what I bring to boxing.
âEveryone thinks I’m a bad person and I can’t wait to prove them wrong.
âMy whole career, everyone hates me and it’s part of the territory, if you play like I play you will always get that from people.
“I don’t mind, as long as my loved ones know who I am and care about me, those are the only opinions I take, I don’t really care about the outside world.