John Hopoate's brutal sledge at Paul Gallen fight announcement

Paul Gallen and John Hopoate are set to collide in the boxing ring.

The fight was confirmed on Thursday and will take place on February 8.

“I’ll end his sporting career, he can sit in retirement with his coach,” Hopoate said of Gallen at Thursday’s announcement.


The brutal sledge was a reference to Gallen’s coach Shane Flanagan, who on Wednesday was provisionally de-registered from the NRL for defying a 2014 ban over the club’s peptide scandal.

Flanagan is known to be confused about the guidelines of his 2014 suspension.

Despite being instructed not to communicate with any Sharks players or officials in 2014, the NRL bizarrely allowed him to re-sign with the club during his suspension.

Shane Flanagan in 2017. (Photo by Nigel French/PA Images via Getty Images)

Having been allowed to secure his own future at the club beyond his suspension, Flanagan doesn’t believe his responding to club officials’ emails about player retention and recruit from 2015 amounts to effectively coaching the Sharks in 2014, as he stands accused of.

Hopoate is a former two-time Australian heavyweight champion with a 12-5 professional record, but hasn’t fought since March 2010.


Gallen has an 8-0 record.