Paul Gallen may have been beaten and bruised in his loss against Australian heavyweight champion Kris Terzievski, but the former NRL star showed his class in a post-match photo.
The 40-year-old NRL great showed his renowned grit and resilience in a brutal beatdown from the taller, younger and more technical Terzievski.
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Maybe to his own detriment, Gallen kept marching forward as Terzievski dominated for much of the encounter and was clearly ahead on the scorecards.
However, Terzievski was forced to survive an incredible ninth-round fightback from Gallen before eventually gaining the judges' unanimous decision, with all three scoring it 97-92.
Despite some ugly barbs shared in the build-up to the fight, Terzievski praised Gallen for being the 'toughest' opponent he had punched.
While Gallen admitted post-fight his ageing legs may have got the better of him during the title fight..
"Age probably caught up with me a bit. What can you do?" said a battered and blue Gallen.
"That's life. Everyone gets old and whether I do it again, I'm not too sure. We'll have to wait and see.
"Yeah, it could be it. We'll see."
But in a classy moment, Gallen was photographed with Terzievski in the change room sharing a laugh.
— Jamie Pandaram (@JamiePandaram) May 11, 2022
Paul Gallen earns crowd respect after courageous fightback
While Gallen has battled in and out of the ring to earn the public's respect throughout his fleeting boxing career, there is no doubt he won many fans on Wednesday night.
The boxing world was left in awe of Gallen's insane fightback and courage after he wore a number of brutal shots from Terzievski but kept going.
“Paul, you’re an absolute champion, brother,” Terzievski said in the ring.
“You’re the toughest bloke I have ever hit in my life. Literally the toughest man in Australia.”
Boxing reporter Brendan Bradford wrote on Twitter: “Say what you want about Gallen, but that guy is outrageously tough. It’s insane”.
Sports journalist Todd Balym posted: “Paul Gallen admits age has finally caught up with him in boxing … four rounds later he fully won over the crowd.
"Great fight. Gotta respect his courage. Toughest man in Australian sport. But it’s time to retire”.
NRL commentator Dan Ginnane added: “Win lose or draw that should be it for Gal. Would go out with pride and on his feet.
"Forget dreams of SBW. Terrific 2nd career. Go and be a commentator for the next 20 years”.
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