Paul Gallen has bristled at Australia boxing legend Jeff Fenech’s prediction that he will likely be knocked out by Justin Hodges in his final ever struggle.
Gallen and Hodges will sq. off in a rematch in Sydney subsequent Wednesday and the Cronulla Sharks legend will likely be decided to complete his boxing profession on a excessive.
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However Fenech, who was not too long ago awarded a fourth world title retrospectively, believes Gallen has reached the top of his tether and can stay to remorse it towards Hodges.
“I believe Gal may need taken one struggle too many … and I believe Justin Hodges knocks him out,” Fenech advised Fox Sports activities, including he his anticipating a “large uspet”.
It’s a daring name given a fatigued Gallen defeated Hodges by way of unanimous determination of their struggle earlier this 12 months, on the identical evening Gallen additionally beat Ben Hannant.
“And no disrespect to Gal. I really like the man. Suppose he’s an absolute warrior,” Fenech stated.
“Whenever you take a look at among the guys Paul Gallen has crushed, too – wow – you wouldn’t consider placing Justin in towards them.
“However it’s all about timing. And Gal, he’s not getting any higher. Each struggle he’s dropping a bit of bit.
“So when issues occur on the proper time, or the fallacious time … I believe it may spell catastrophe for Gal.”
Hodges dropped Gallen of their first struggle, which was marred by controversy when Gallen pushed Hodges on high of the ropes and almost despatched him toppling out of the ring in a transfer described as “unlawful”.
“I do know when Justin dropped Gal in that first struggle, he bought huge confidence from that,” Fenech stated.
“For the primary struggle, Hodgo was there for the cash, I’m certain.
“However now, having dropped him, he actually believes he can win.
“And you may see in his performances, he’s bought a lot better.”
Gallen was fast to hit again at Fenech, telling WWOS:“I don’t perceive the place all this confidence for Justin Hodges comes from.”
The 41-year-old stated the actual fact he gained twice in a single evening and nonetheless managed to beat Hodges regardless of nefarious delaying ways from his nook was proof sufficient he’s a greater fighter than the Queensland rugby league nice.
Gallen stated: “How can anybody present confidence in him? Then after two rounds his coach pulls tape off his arm, he was on his toes, he was f***ed. The place does this confidence come from?”
Australian boxing has an abundance of expertise in the intervening time however after Sonny Invoice Williams’ loss to Mark Hunt and Gallen’s retirement imminent, the hunt is on for the subsequent cross-code star.
Gallen doubled down on his concept that the No Restrict boxing promoters wish to see him crushed earlier than his profession’s completed to create one other former NRL star-turned pay-per-view golden goose.
“I bought a sense they wish to see me get beat,” he stated.
“They want the subsequent Paul Gallen. That’s why I believe they’re permitting two-and-a-half minute rounds, what a freakin’ joke. They’re permitting it, it’s a bit annoying.
“However it’s enterprise and I perceive they’ve bought to do what’s finest for them for the subsequent 5 to 10 years, I’m achieved subsequent week. I’m not indignant at them for that, I’ve bought to make use of that as motivation and never permit myself to get crushed to a man who 12 months in the past I might have killed.”
Maligned boxing star Michael Zerafa, who famously pulled out of a struggle with Tim Tszyu, may also characteristic on the Gallen vs Hodges struggle card.