There was almost no need for a ring when Sonny Bill Williams and Paul Gallen went at each other on the Channel 9 set over what has become one of the longest-running sagas in Australian sport.
The two footy greats have been verbally sparring for years, each accusing the other about failing to get a deal done to touch gloves in a fight that could smash audience records for a domestic stink.
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Gallen is – or was - happy to take a 50-50 split but the SBW camp wants a bigger slice of the pie, believing their man brings more to the table due to his bigger international profile across two codes.
The frustration and sniping all spilled over after Channel 9's broadcast of the Parramatta-Warriors game brought the two men together on a panel featuring immortal-in-waiting Cameron Smith.
Smith was stunned with what unfolded next.
"This was post-game and we were having a great post-game show, having a bit of fun," he told Radio SEN.
"And all of a sudden it went from reviewing the Warriors-Parramatta match to Sonny Bill Williams and Gal talking about why they haven’t got a fight organised yet.
"They were getting stuck into each other. I was in between them - James Bracey was down the end hosting the show – and I had a bit of a chuckle at first but it kept going.
"Then I looked at Bracey and said 'is this a gee-up?' But they kept going for 10 minutes."
Will we ever see Paul Gallen v SBW?
The frosty atmosphere continued after the show, with the pair reportedly clashing again.
The hate is real but has the fight's use-by date passed?
Gallen, now 40, insists he has retired from boxing after a brutal points defeat to Kris Terzievski in May.
But those close to the premiership-winning Sharks skipper are convinced he would make a comeback against Williams if the money was right.
Pride is also on the line, with Gallen feeling disrespected and insulted by suggestions he should play second fiddle to SBW.
If not, the Channel 9 studio stoush might be the closest we get to the fight everyone wants to see but most likely never will.
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