A radio presenter has been left with a suspected broken rib from a vicious Paul Gallen kidney punch, following a "stitch up" from two of his colleagues.
Nova 96.9’s Matt de Groot suffered the painful blow after Sydney radio hosts Fitzy and Wippa set him up for a promotional hit-out with the NRL great, who is set to fight AFL legend Barry Hall in Melbourne o Friday night.
Breakfast radio duo Ryan Fitzgerald and Michael Wipfli released video of the incident on social media on Monday, that shows the brutal blow from Gallen that did the damage.
Fitzy and Wippa will surely be feeling a little guilty after admitting they threw their colleague into the deep end, having blindfolded him and ushered him inside the boxing ring.
It was then that De Groot discovered that he was to face off against Gallen, after being challenged to survive 30 seconds against the hard-hitting league legend.
The radio news reader was apparently chosen due to his resemblance to Hall, with Fitzy and Wippa even fitting him out in a Sydney Swans outfit for added touch.
Needless to say the stunt didn't end well, with Nova describing the sparring session as a "massacre" and De Groot left unable to cough or laugh without pain, several days afterwards.
“He’s a little bit red around the ribs,” Wipfli said on the Monday morning show.
“He was shaking yesterday. He was completely shaken.”
De Groot admitted that he underestimated the punching power of Gallen and the potentially damage he could cop in just 30 seconds.
“I said to him in advance, throw your absolute best mate, because I reckon I can take it. I could not take it.
“As soon as I realised who I was in the ring with I just laughed and thought well, Matt, you’ve had a good run. But I was also pretty sure if I just covered my face and moved around a lot I could ride the 30 seconds out. I got close.
“I thought I was doing OK until that last shot. As soon as he got me with that one it just felt different and I was like, ‘Oh OK, you could be in trouble here’.
“My wife was there, and kept saying, ‘What did you expect would happen?’ I honestly didn’t think I’d possibly break a rib.”
Gallen says fight is set up for Hall to win
Friday night's fight is being held in AFL heartland - in a city where Gallen's former NRL club Cronulla are despised after beating Melbourne in the 2016 grand final as well as a rumoured personal feud with Storm skipper Cameron Smith.
The NRL great has hit out at several aspects of the fight, insisting it's an ambush set up for the AFL legend to win.
It's been held at a time that didn't suit Gallen, who had to juggle training with a speaking tour to the UK which was supposed to double as an end-of-career trip away with mates.
Hall also got his wish for six two-minute rounds rather than three minute, and the former key forward is being trained by the promoter, Danny Green's long-time trainer Angelo Hyder.
"I definitely feel like this is a fight set up for Barry without a doubt," Gallen told AAP.
"He's got everything he wanted - the rounds - he's basically shit-canned everyone I've fought yet he only wants to fight two minute rounds because he's 42.
"It's going to be pro-Barry crowd - it's clear to see it's heavily weighted in his favour so I've got to go down there and knock him out.
"I'm going to put to bed all of this chat that Barry could have, or should have or still can be a champion boxer."
While in the UK, Gallen, who has had nine fights (5KO), sparred with the likes of Hughie Fury, who is the cousin of former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury as well as up-and-coming Hull boxer Sonny Taylor, who stands the same height as Hall.
He also got into the ring with Rocky Fielding, who late last year lost a WBA super middleweight title fight to Canelo Alvarez.
"To be able to train with guys like that and see the work they do was good," the 38-year-old said.
"I've prepared well and I'm going to ruin everyone's night next week."