Paul Gallen is adamant and says he can’t think of a better way to retire from professional sport than by knocking a Queenslander into submission.
Gallen will pull back the curtain on his boxing career on Wednesday night when he takes on former State of Origin nemesis Justin Hodges in a spicy rematch between the two retired NRL greats.
Hodges argues he was robbed after dropping Gallen before suffering a controversial third-round loss by TKO in the pair’s first stoush in September.
But Gallen intends to silence Hodges once and for all, pointing out that the last time the two fought he also faced – and beat – Hodges’ ex-Queensland Origin star Ben Hannant, the same evening.
“I want to hurt him,” Gallen said at Tuesday’s weigh-in in Sydney.
“Him and his mates (Maroons) have broken my heart many times, especially during that eight-year period (of Queensland dominance). That’s definitely extra motivation.
“But I have to take him out alone tomorrow night. That will be the best thing.
“He has no friends around him. He has no one to help him. He has no 110kg rower in front of him and tires me, slows me down and fights me first.
“He only has me and that’s a huge advantage for me.
“If I do what I can do and fight the fight I want to fight, he has no chance of beating me.”
Hodges admits he probably can’t go the full six two-and-a-half-minute rounds with Gallen.
“I just have to stop it,” Hodges said.
“Six rounds, I’ve never gone this far. So for me to win, I have to put him out as soon as possible.
“I have nothing to lose. Everyone expects him to win, he expects to win and I know all I have to do is land a big punch and that changes the entire outcome of the fight.”
Win or lose, Gallen, 41 – who readily admits he’s well past his best physique – will make no comeback.
The sporting iron man claimed this week that he’s grossed $25 million over the past three years and couldn’t be happier as he approaches his sporting swan song.
“I started the sport to make money in the pre-seasons. It escalated from there. I did very well financially,” Gallen said.
“So I don’t need the money. I’m actually taking less money for this fight than my contract says so I did the right thing in (promoter) No Limit (Boxing) there -down.
“So, what will motivate me to come out of retirement? I do not know.
“There’s no one in particular I want to fight, and there’s no fight big enough to bring me out of retirement.”
The Gallen-Hodges heavyweight showdown will precede Michael Zerafa’s middleweight bout with undefeated Italian Danilo Creati.
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