It’s a different universe on fight night, when he’s trying to burrow through his star pugilist’s pulsating hive of hangers-on. On that stage, Nasser is in his element.
There’s a strong chance he’ll be wearing tracky-dacks and thongs, or hiding away behind the relative safety of his beard and the shade of a baseball cap. After orchestrating the chaos of a Mundine bout 45 times, in which time he’s made as many enemies as friends, he’s become a dapper hand.
At Ballymore, the conservative home of Queensland’s most conservative code, Nasser faces a more difficult task blending in. He’s as intriguing as the eventual destination of his new star, the latest acquisition to his intimate but lucrative stable.
In rugby at least, it’s not a usual event to see sports agents attend the press conferences of their players. Then again, Nasser isn’t your usual sports agent.
As Quade Cooper this week delivered the news Reds fans had been craving to hear – that his new one-year deal was official – Nasser was squirreled up the back, anxiously peering at his phone and looking like he had a plane to catch. Still, he was the large elephant in a small room.
He’d made a significant effort to dress for the occasion – a loose fitting jacket over a knit top and opting for closed-in shoes to finish one of his more-polished looks.
It didn’t look remotely convincing but perhaps he’d learned from one of his earlier visits, when he met with QRU chief executive Jim Carmichael, a man reputed to sleep in a crisp business suit.
By the time Cooper had finished talking to the cameras, teasing fans with a one-year extension and leaving the door open to a career in rugby league (gasp!), Nasser had scurried outside to wait near the front door while Cooper dutifully fulfilled a long list of one-on-one interviews.
There one moment, gone the next. Nasser is an enigma even in boxing circles but in rugby, where he now manages two of the game’s biggest stars – the other being Crusader and All Black Sonny Bill Williams – he is a complex new figure on the landscape.
Some in rugby are fearful of his impact on Cooper, or the possibility he may lure him away from the code and back to league, a game he played until he was taken under the wing of Michael O’Connor and given a scholarship at the prestigious Anglican Church Grammar School in East Brisbane.
When Cooper announced earlier this year that he had left the more familiar guidance of his old agent, IMG’s Richard Colreavy, the backroom chatter kicked into overdrive. Cooper denies anyone in Australian rugby told him to reconsider his move but it’s believed a number of high-ranking figures were sceptical of his decision.
Cooper is firm and confident in his choice. He met Nasser after striking up a friendship with Williams in 2008 and didn’t take long to realise he was the man to help guide his future in whatever football code he may choose.
“I trust Khoder with everything. He’s a great bloke. As soon as I met him and got chatting to him, I knew he was the right bloke for me,” Cooper said.
“The good thing about him is he tells it how it is. He’s not there to talk you up and tell you lies about how good you are or how good you aren’t.
“He’s there to do his job and my job is to play football and do that well. We got chatting and once my contract with IMG came up, moving forward, I thought Khoder would be a great fit.”
Nasser’s association with Mundine, a polarising figure in Australian sport but also a very rich one, and Williams, who famously walked out of a contract at the Bulldogs to play rugby in France, means Cooper knew his move would be open to scrutiny.
But he said he never doubted his instincts and insists the Nasser camp, which includes just Mundine, Williams, NRL player Cory Patterson and now Cooper, is where he belongs.
“It was a massive step,” Cooper concedes. “There would have been a lot of chat about it because he is a bit of an unknown to rugby circles. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion.
“I feel I’m doing the best thing. I’m not looking backwards. I want to keep getting better as a player and let him do his job, which is getting me jobs.”
For all the mystique surrounding Nasser and the outcome of his dealings with rugby powerbrokers, Cooper says he simply gets results for his clients. In any case, the fact Cooper is back in Reds colours next season and Williams is happily ensconced at the Crusaders means that, for the moment at least, rugby diehards have little reason for concern.
“You only have to look at the players he’s got, like Anthony Mundine and Sonny Bill. They are two of the best sportsmen in Australia. It’s not like a one-off hit and miss. He backs things up. If you look for the results he gets, it speaks for itself,” Cooper said.
“It’s all about trust. I don’t see him as a colleague, I see him as a mate. If you’ve got trust there, that’s enough for me.”
If Nasser, a noted tough negotiator, is looming as a defining figure in Cooper’s future, then Williams is equally prominent. Cooper has expressed an interest in playing alongside the athletic centre in either rugby code. Nasser is the kind of contractual conjurer who can make that happen.
“I met Sonny when at the Barbarians game down in Sydney. I saw him as somewhat of an idol at the time, a great rugby league player now playing over in France. I was very interested in getting his point of view on a lot of things and we started talking,” Cooper said.
“We became good mates from there. He was just back from France. It was his first game on Australian soil and there was a lot of hype. He was a good guy to talk to and chew the fat. He’s got a lot of experience and advice.
“I’ve got the utmost respect for him as a player and person. I’ll continue to take advice off him and be great mates with him.”
As it turns out, Nasser did have a plane to catch. Never one to miss an opportunity to get his clients some media exposure, he was reluctant to cut short the talkfest but eventually interjected with a beckoning hand.
Cooper had to drive him to the airport, where he was catching a plane back to Sydney. They jumped in the Mercedes and motored off.
On the field, Cooper is a complete enigma. Nobody knows what he’s going to do from one moment to the next. Now he’s found a manager who does the same thing, Australian rugby can’t decide whether it’s excited or petrified.