Boxing 2022: Paul Gallen cops State of Origin sledge ahead of fights against Justin Hodges, Ben Hannant

Boxing 2022: Paul Gallen cops State of Origin sledge ahead of fights against Justin Hodges, Ben Hannant

  • Boxing
  • September 16, 2022
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  • 22
  • 4 minutes read

The sledges are flying thick and fast ahead of Paul Gallen’s unique boxing double header against Justin Hodges and Ben Hannant in Brisbane on Thursday.

Gallen will have the challenge of fighting the two Queensland rugby league legends on the same night, in what could be his last ever bout before hanging up the gloves.

The Cronulla Sharks great will go in as heavy favourite to beat both Hodges and Hannant, but that hasn’t stopped the pair’s trash talk.

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There’s little love lost between Hodges and Gallen — with the former Maroons star happy to remind Gallen of Queeland’s dominance in State Origin which saw them win eight consecutive series between 2006 and 2013.

Last week Gallen claimed Hodges was riding on the coat tails of more successful Queensland players such as Billy Slater and Cameron Smith.

But Hodges hit back at Gallen on Monday, declaring: “You’d rather ride on the back of greatness.”

“He’s the worst Origin captain in history,” Hodges continued.

“He’s lost eight or nine series. I’d rather be on the winning side riding on the back of some great players than lose as an Origin captain for eight or nine years.

“He’s probably the main reason why they lost.”

Hodges lost a bet earlier this year and was forced to wear a NSW jersey in hilarious scenes.

He will have to do it again if he goes down to Gallen, with the pair agreeing that the loser will have to sport the Origin jersey of their opponent.

Hodges will have Hannant supporting him but had a warning for Gallen should any of his ex-Blues teammates make the trip north of the border for the fight.

“I don’t need anyone,” he said.

“At the end of the day, it’s going to be me and him in the ring. He can bring whoever he wants from NSW.

“They’ve all lost before up here, there’s no reason why they’ll came up here and win. We’ll knock them all out if we have to.”

In response, Gallen couldn’t resist taking a dig at Queensland, urging people to get along and support Hodges and Hannant.

“I think everyone should get there and support them,” he said.

“It’s Brisbane’s only opportunity to have anything good go on at the back end of the season. They fell over at the back end of the season rugby-league wise.

“Everything rugby league is happening up in Townsville now, so if you want to come and watch some people actually compete rather than just fall over, come out and watch.”

Gallen had threatened to pull out of the rare double fight over concerns about a lack of detail regarding the conditions, mainly if he would get a break in between the two fights.

Those concerns have been eased and while it’s still unclear who Gallen will fight first and if the bouts will be back-to-back, he is ready to go for his boxing swan song.

Read related topics:Brisbane

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