Paul Gallen's shock claim ahead of double-header boxing bout

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Paul Gallen is pictured during a press conference.
Paul Gallen is threatening to walk away from his double-header bout against Justin Hodges and Ben Hannant if promoters don't provide more detail about the fight by the end of this week. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

A furious Paul Gallen has threatened to walk away from his upcoming boxing double-header after accusing promotors of being scant on the details of his fights against Justin Hodges and Ben Hannant.

The former Cronulla Sharks icon will take on both men on the same night, and though he's heavy favourite to win both bouts, Gallen says his camp have been given few details.

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No Limit promoter George Rose has gone as far as suggesting a WWE-style tag-team match, however what format the night takes just two weeks out is anybody's guess.

Gallen is set to step into the ring in 15 days, but speaking to NewsCorp, the 41-year-old said he had his doubts considering the late notice he was going to get.

Neither Hodges or Hannant know exactly how the fight is set to play out either.

“In general, not feeling great about it,” he said.

“My preparation is going OK, I’m definitely fit. My fight fitness and everything is fine, but I’m not happy about it.

“It’s a big ask — fighting two guys on one night and I still don’t know who I’m fighting first and what’s going on, how the fight’s going to work.

"It’s a bit of a pain in the a*** to be honest.”

Rose's suggestion of a tag-team fight will likely not progress particularly far, but Gallen has requested to fight four rounds against each fighter, back to back.

Structuring the two bouts so that they run similarly to a sparring session has been suggested by Gallen, who was wary about taking a long break between fights on the night.

“I’ve asked to fight them back-to-back because to be honest, in sparring you do eight rounds and bring two or three different guys in,” he said.

“That’s pretty common in sparring, particularly young guys to come in and do two or three rounds against you.

“In my mind I’m prepared for an eight-round fight. It’d make sparring easier, fighting two guys four rounds each, it’d make it heaps easier, more simple. That’s would I’d like to do.

“But to totally stop and have a break and go again, that’s a big ask and I’m hearing through the grapevine that’s what it might be. That’s what I’m concerned about.”

Paul Gallen threatening to pull out of Hodges-Hannant showdown

Gallen said if he didn't get more detail about how the fight would be run in the coing days, then he would pull out.

How seriously George and Matt Rose, the operators of No Limit productions, take that threat remains to be seen, with the pair currently in Paris for Australian fighter Tai Tuivasa's UFC clash against Ciryl Gane this weekend.

Gallen gave the brothers a deadline of the end of this week to give his camp more details, or he was walking away.

“They’re over in Paris at the moment, they’ve got enough time to discuss it,” he said.

“So they can finalise things and let me know what’s going on by the end of the week or I’ll just pull the pin.

“One thing I know about sport in general is that you are a piece of meat. When you retire, there’s not a lot of people pulling your arm. I understand that’s part of the business.

“(But) a fight like this hasn’t been done in 130 years that someone’s fought two guys on the one night. I think I’m more than entitled to know what’s going on. That’s the biggest frustration.”

Paul Gallen's prior outing in the ring was a hard-fought points loss to Kris Terzievski. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)
Paul Gallen's prior outing in the ring was a hard-fought points loss to Kris Terzievski. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Gallen's previous outing in the ring was a brutal 10-round loss to Australian heavyweight champion Kris Terzievski.

Terzievski dominated for much of the encounter but had to survive an incredible ninth-round fightback from Gallen before eventually gaining the judges' unanimous decision, with all three scoring it 97-92.

Gallen was bidding to become the first cross-code athlete to claim the national heavyweight belt as well the Australasian heavyweight strap, but it wasn't to be.

Instead, the 40-year-old is again pondering retirement after confessing to feeling his age as Terzievski was hailed as "King of the Castle".

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