Former rugby league star Paul Gallen will appear in his first title fight on Wednesday against Justis Huni and could end up walking away with two belts.
Justis Huni v Paul Gallen Predictions & Tips
The sport of boxing has been ridiculed recently with everyone seemingly wanted to lace up a pair of gloves, but one former athlete who is making waves for the right reason is Paul Gallen.
Gallen, who has won the NRL Grand Final with Cronulla Sharks and the World Cup with Australia, is unbeaten as a fighter and this will be his 13th professional bout.
The former footy star has to shrug off all the doubters every time he steps foot in the ring, but he sent out a clear message in his last fight when he knocked out former WBA heavyweight champion Lucas Browne in the first round.
Out of his 12 fights, Gallen has won six of them by knockout, five on points and one draw against former AFL star Barry Hall – but this will be his toughest test.
Justis Huni is the current Australian champion and at the age of 22, he has already been tipped as a future heavyweight champion of the world.
Huni has only had four fights and he won the Australian title in his first bout when he knocked out Faiga Opelu in the seventh round.
The 22-year-old has since beaten Arsene Fosso, Jack Maris and Christian Ndzie Tsoye and has only gone the distance once, and he is hoping to take care of Gallen before heading to Tokyo for the Olympic Games.
I had doubts over Gallen’s career change once he retired from rugby league, but he seems to be quite good at it. He surprised me when he destroyed Browne inside three minutes. Browne is probably well past his best, but it was an amazing feat, nonetheless.
There is a 17-year age gap between the fighters, and I am backing the younger man to get the job done. Gallen’s unbeaten record is quite impressive, but I have a bad feeling that this will come to a painful end. Huni means business, and I am backing him to knock out the former New South Wales captain inside six rounds.
Justis Huni v Paul Gallen: Fighter Predictions
Paul Gallen: “I’ve been called a donkey, a pig, I’ve been called everything. I got my circle, I got my family that’s all I need to be concerned about, what they think about me. I’m well prepared for this fight. I think Dean (Lonergan – Huni’s promoter) knows I’m not really concerned about what he says or what anyone else thinks of me. They’re overlooking me without a doubt. I’ve read all their comments. Their number one concern is the Olympics. I’m here to tell all of you – Justis you’re included in your team – I’m going to do everything I can to make sure you don’t go to the Olympics. Whether it’s break your jaw, break your face, break your arm. I don’t care what it is. I’m going to do everything I can to break something in you, so you don’t go to the Olympics. That dream since you’ve been seven years old is gonna be f***ed. I’m going to do everything I can. I’m going to try and break something in there, I don’t care if it’s your arm, I’m going to try and break something. Everything, anything I can. I don’t care what the referee does. I’m going to try and ruin your dream. He’s quit before. He has walked off before, he’s quit before. That’s a fact. I’m not making that up. He’s got to a championship final (actually the semi-finals) and walked off. He said he had a sore stomach, said he had a store stomach the whole week. The only thing people don’t know that I know is that you fight every two days leading into it. So, what was wrong with your stomach two days before it, or the previous two days or the previous two days before that? Nothing! You make the final and you don’t fight the final, you f***ing coward! You had the chance to fight in a final and you dogged it. That’s always going to be in you mate, somewhere that’s always going to be in you. Whether I find it or not, someone will find it one day and I’m determined to find it. All I do is find the chink in your armour, I find it and I expose it. The fact is – that’s a fact – he has quit before and at some stage he will quit again! It’s going to be a hard fight, I understand that. He’s going to box, he can move very well so to catch him in the first few rounds is going to be difficult. I think if I get through the first five or six rounds, I think I can knock him out in the sixth, seventh, eighth, or ninth round. I think I can knock him out late.”
Dean Lonergan (promoter): “Paul’s got less chance of winning this fight as he did as captain of State of Origin against Queensland, I think once in eight or nine Origins he won. Paul’s in a whole world of pain. Paul’s been in the entertaining/circus fighting game. Now he’s in the hurt game. And it’s a whole different ball game. Justis is going to inflict a lot of pain and he’s going to find out what it’s like with a real boxer. For those of us in the boxing world, we know exactly what this is… We’re in a two-horse race. On my left this (Huni) is Winx. This is probably the best prospect to ever come out of Australia, certainly the best prospect at heavyweight. But if this is Winx in a two-horse race, this is Eeyore. No matter how hard little Eeyore trains, no matter how fast his little legs go – it’s not going to help when he’s up against Winx.”
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