Gallen rips ‘drunk’ NRL star’s ‘cowardly’ act

Paul Gallen knows the end is near.

The only problem is, nobody seems to hear him.

The 348-game NRL veteran has single-handedly brought boxing back into the spotlight post-Anthony Mundine, giving promoters, everyday boxers and former NRL players a chance to earn.

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Former NRL players and boxing novices Ben Hannant and Justin Hodges made $100,000 for four rounds last week. Not the easiest money they’ve made but almost certainly the quickest.

After five professional bouts, rising heavyweight Justis Huni made $300,000 and is now a burgeoning name within Australia’s sporting landscape.

A fight with Gallen equals money, and everyone knows it.

That’s why the 2016 premiership-winning captain can’t shake off current NRL players from wanting a piece of him even though he’s clearly stated that his last bout will be in December, more than likely against Hodges.

It also might have something to do with Gallen’s comments in the lead-up to the boxing double-header in Brisbane, when he said he had no issue fighting current NRL players, and had no doubt he’d beat anyone put in front him .

That led to Matt Lodge posting a fight proposal to social media this week that was ripped by Gallen, but that wasn’t the only one.

“I had another NRL player on the weekend calling me out and carrying on on social media, clearly drunk,” Gallen told Wide World of Sports.

“I won’t say who it is but I replied to him and said ‘mate get off social media when you’re drunk’. Twenty-four hours later I got an apology.

“I was pretty clear the other night in the ring when I said I’ll give Hodgo a rematch which I should, to be fair.

“They heard me say it and now these bokes are calling me out. I really think it’s cowardly on their part.”

It might have been Gallen’s comments that spurred the knee-jerk reaction from footy players looking for a payday, although his surprise knockdown against Hodges may have also been a catalyst.

Apart from his bout against the Australian heavyweight champion Huni, the KO to Hodges was the first time fight fans had seen Gallen troubled in the ring.

“It’s heavyweight fighting, I’m not worried about getting dropped. Two fights in one night hasn’t happened in like 130 years. I was getting punched by two blokes,” Gallen said.

“Even before this fight, where were they? They see that I’m past my best, they want to have a go now.

“It’s embarrassing for them. It’s on them, not me.”

The sobering admission from Gallen exhibits how serious he is about hanging up the gloves.

With a career in the media and former stars of the game revealing their struggles with concussion long after their playing days, the former NSW captain knows it’s time.

But that won’t stop the speculation about a one off return to the ring once his deal with No Limit is up.

A potential super-fight with Sonny Bill Williams has been rumored to be worth north of $8 million but a stand-off over money has so far resulted in a stalemate.

Despite the lure of riches being the determining factor in drawing him to the sport, Gallen said age has brought with it a new perspective.

“Where does it end for me? When does it end for a 41-year-old?” he asked.

“I’ve got to rematch Hodges now, I’ve got this drop-kick (Matt Lodge) calling me out and this other NRL player calling me out, I’ve got one fight left.

“I’ve said who its going to be, and that’s it.”

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