All Black loose forward Liam Messam has taken many knocks in his rugby career but on December 3, he'll be taking some different knocks.
The 27-year-old is one of the rugby stars who singed up for this year's Woodstock Fight for Life - League versus Rugby.
Messam, who has nine test caps for the All Blacks, will step into the boxing ring for the first time.
"It's a totally different fitness. After my first sparring session, I have a lot of respect for what boxers do and how they train. It's a totally different sport, different fitness. Once you get fit it helps with the rugby fitness with the lungs and running and that," Messam said.
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"It's been good, there's the whole other side that doesn't like to get hit but you've just got to get in there and get comfortable in the ring. Part of the sport is a contact sport, once you get comfortable hopefully it will go well."
Getting involved with the event seemed a natural choice for the 1.90m tall, 109kg Chiefs captain.
"I sort of boxed when I was little, when I was a kid. One of my mates from intermediate school got me into it and just loved the sport from then. I still do quite a bit [of boxing training] for rugby it's a good way to stay fit. I've always wanted to have a fight," Messam said.
"This opportunity came and it's for a great cause - for prostate cancer. One of my mates fought threw prostate cancer ... Everything just seemed to fall into place, so I put my hand up and said yes to it."
The event is to be held on December 3 at the Trusts Stadium Arena, Auckland. It will feature six rugby stars versus six league stars, in an extreme battle-of-the-codes. The fights will be three two minute rounds of boxing and the money raised will go towards the Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand.
Messam's team include Christian Cullen, Troy Flavell, Slade McFarland and Carlos Spencer. Jonah Lomu was an original team member but because of his recent health scare is unlikely to take part in the event.
Although Messam hasn't been matched with his opponent yet, the league team consists of Monty Betham, Awen Guttenbeil, Issac Luke, Wendell Sailor, Jerry Seuseu and Joe Vagana. Organisers are expected to match the boxers next week.