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Gallen eyes Origin clash with Hodges

Paul Gallen says he wants to finish his boxing career by facing Queensland's Justin Hodges and Kiwi Manu Vatuvei.

Gallen eyes Origin clash with Hodges

Paul Gallen says he wants to finish his boxing career by facing Queensland's Justin Hodges and Kiwi Manu Vatuvei.

PAUL GALLEN punches JOHN HOPOATE during the Star of the Ring III Charity Fight Night at Hordern Pavilion in Sydney, Australia.
PAUL GALLEN punches JOHN HOPOATE during the Star of the Ring III Charity Fight Night at Hordern Pavilion in Sydney, Australia. Picture:Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images

After his brutal annihilation of John Hopoate, Paul Gallen wants to re-ignite his State of Origin rivalry with Justin Hodges in the ring and face former Kiwi international Manu Vatuvei in a trans-Tasman tussle.

The Cronulla captain was a class above at a packed out Hordern Pavillion on Friday night, winning by knockout in just the second round.


There were concerning scenes with Hopoate remaining on the canvas for over a minute but thankfully he was well enough to visit and congratulate Gallen in his changing room afterwards.

"I was worried I'd hurt him at one point. I stopped punching for a second and the ref stepped in," said Gallen.

"I like Hoppa; he's got a really bad reputation and I know what that feels like but Hoppa's always been a gentleman to me."

Gallen, undefeated in nine professional fights, now turns his attention from the ring to the football field in his final season with Cronulla. The 37-year-old wants a few more fights but not before he's faced an old Queensland foe in Hodges.

The pair frequently clashed in State of Origin matches and after Hodges' win on debut by first-round knockout Gallen says he would love to settle the score.

"I like Hodgo," he said. "But at the end of the day, it's a professional sport and if they want to make it happen, yeah we can make it happen.

"If (Manu) wants to do it I'm happy to do it. I hope I can get through the footy season and we have a successful year. I'll see towards the back end of the year and see if we can make something of it."

The scalp Gallen really wants, however, is Sonny Bill Williams, but he explained that the Kiwi dual-code star has consistently ducked fighting him.

"There's no point asking me; it's been spoken about since my first fight and nothing's happened," he said.

"I agreed to a contract with Khoder (Nassr, Williams' agent) and sums, verbally, and that ended in 2015.

"I go to schools, I go to hospitals, I go to businesses and without fail they ask me, 'When are you going to fight Sonny Bill?' The ball's in his court not mine."

AAP


AAP




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