Betham set to follow father into boxing ring

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The Independent Online

The Wakefield captain, Monty Betham, yesterday retired from rugby league to pursue a career in boxing. Betham, 28, who had a year left on his contract, is the second New Zealand international to leave the Wildcats after their escape from relegation. David Solomona has moved to Bradford.

Signed from New Zealand Warriors just over 12 months ago, Betham played in all but two of Wakefield's 28 Super League fixtures in 2006, his only absence coming with a two-match suspension for fighting.

"Monty confirmed to us this morning that he's going to retire from the game," said the Wakefield chief executive, Steve Ferres. "We wish him well. "Although it leaves us short of cover, we have options at loose forward and in the back row. It is a blow but it was anticipated this would happen and it now allows one of our young players to step up to the mark."

Betham will attempt to emulate his father, also called Monty, who had 53 fights as a middleweight or light-heavyweight from 1973-82. The former Warriors captain will start out in the cruiserweight division and hopes to work his way down to light-heavyweight. Details of his first fight are expected to be announced in the new year.