Paul Gallen's chilling warning from legend over boxing career

Paul Gallen was knocked down by Justin Hodges in the first fight between the former NRL rivals. Pic: Getty
Paul Gallen was knocked down by Justin Hodges in the first fight between the former NRL rivals. Pic: Getty

Paul Gallen has been open about his growing dislike for boxing.

He's told friends the sport no longer motivates him as it once did and the drudgery of training has well and truly kicked in.

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After 20 straight years in professional sport, the former NSW Origin skipper will step into the ring for the final time when he takes on Justin Hodges in Sydney on November 23.

Close friends hope this really is the last time.

Boxing is littered with failed comebacks and fighters chasing one last pay day.

As we've written here before, Gallen has been an easy meal ticket for former footy players and ageing UFC champs.

They bring little to the table as far as star power and media exposure while Gallen sells fights with both his mouth and fists.

He's been a Foxtel Main Event cash cow for the best part of a decade.

The Hodges stoush brings to an end Gallen's four-fight deal with promoter No Limit Boxing and he insists there will be no return.

Hall of Fame boxer and triple world champion Jeff Fenech knows a fighter on his last legs when he sees one.

He's seen the damage repeated blows to the head can do and is on a crusade to educate about the dangers of concussion.

Seen here, Aussie boxing great Jeff Fenech speaks to reporters at a press conference.
Jeff Fenech hopes that Paul Gallen sticks to his plan to retire after his next fight against Justin Hodges. Pic: Getty

Jeff Fenech hopes Paul Gallen sticks to his word

He backs Gallen's decision to call it quits after the Hodges fight.

"I think what he's done is amazing but I know what happens with the brain after boxing, after football," Fenech told Yahoo Sport Australia.

"Paul's brought a lot to both codes and shown how tough he is, but you don't want that one punch too many or one fight too many.

Pictured left to right, Paul Gallen punches fellow rugby league great Justin Hodges during their bout in September, 2022.
Paul Gallen is seen here landing a punch on fellow rugby league great Justin Hodges during their bout in September, 2022. Pic: Getty

"It's good to have people who care about you and tell you when the time's up and it's time for him to stop.

"Gal says it's his last fight and let's hope it is.

"I know he loves his money but you don’t need two million dollars – you need your health.

"There is nothing more for him to prove. It's amazing what he's done."

Gallen beat Hodges in controversial circumstances in September and wants to finish the job with one final victory over his old Origin rival.

But Fenech warned: "It’s a tough fight – Hodgo can punch – and let's just hope Gal gets through unscathed."

Gallen is threatening to pull out of the fight if it’s not held over six, three-minute rounds, with Hodges keen on two-minute rounds.

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