Justin Hodges says he was robbed of $1 million by Paul Gallen referee farce
Justin Hodges says he was “robbed” of $1 million as a result of the refereeing farce that tarnished Paul Gallen’s big night inside the ring.
Fighting twice on the same night, Gallen won both his fights against Hodges and former Queensland State of Origin enforcer Ben Hannant in Brisbane on Thursday — but he was very nearly stunned by Hodges.
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The former Broncos star said after the fight Australian boxing officials cost him a $1 million pay bonus as a result of two moments of madness.
Australian boxing commentators were stunned by the moment when Gallen pushed Hodges through the ropes and almost out of the ring, before proceeding to hit Hodges with a brutal shot that turned the momentum of the fight in the second round.
Hodges was bruised and dropped down to one knee, only to be told to “get up” by the referee, who Damon said was “losing control” of the fight.
Australian boxing legend Jeff Fenech added: “He was pushed over the rope and hit Ben. How illegal is it?”
“That’s absurd,” Damon continued.
Fenech said: “If Justin Hodges stays down, he wins a point (and wins) by disqualification.”
It got even worse for Hodges moments later when Gallen came out in the next round and pummelled a struggling Hodges into submission. Despite Gallen’s onslaught, Hodges says the referee stopped the fight prematurely with Gallen officially winning via Third Round TKO.
Hodges was visibly filthy the referee had stopped the fight and said he wanted to continue.
The Queenslander branded the referee’s stoppage “absolute bulls***”.
He said after the fight there was a clause in his contract with promoter No Limit Boxing for a $1 million bonus if he was able to defeat Gallen — as was reported by News Corp earlier on Thursday.
“I was robbed of that opportunity,” Hodges told foxsports.com.au.
“I wasn’t hurt. There’s no way in the world that I was rocked. No way I was even dazed.
“I was against the ropes, got hit twice, but was fine.
“Yeah, we were both knackered. Both throwing punches.
“But it was just a couple of hits that he got me. I was ready to keep going.
“I couldn’t believe he stopped it.”
Asked if the thought of losing his massive payday would burn, he continued: “It’s going to burn for a long time.
“That million dollars, it was the carrot.
“It was always there in the back of my mind. But it’s not just the money, either. It’s the opportunity.
“I had Gal. I’d won those first two rounds, everything was going my way. That was my opportunity … and for some reason it was stopped.”
Gallen immediately agreed to a rematch in the ring straight after the fight.
Gallen has one fight left on his contract and wants to fight Hodges again in November in a rematch with six three-minute rounds.
“I know the ref’s got a job to do, but there was no way in the world I was hurt,” Hodges said.
“It’s absolute bullcrap. But I’m an ultimate professional, I take it on the chin.
“If Gal wants to do six three-minute rounds, it’s up to (No Limit’s) Matty and George (Rose). I want a rematch because that was bulls***.”