Paul Gallen will fight Queensland rugby league legends Justin Hodges and Ben Hannant on the same night in what promises to be an epic boxing extravaganza at the Nissan Arena in Brisbane on September 15.
Gallen, who has a 12-2-1 professional record and wins over former WBA (Regular) champion Lucas Browne and UFC legend Mark Hunt, was confident he would handle whatever Hodges and Hannant bring.
Details around the format of the event are still to be finalised but, at a press conference in Brisbane on Wednesday, Gallen pressured Hodges into stepping up first and putting his money where his mouth is.The fighters were also joined by CEO of No Limit Boxing George Rose.
Tickets for the event are on sale now and can be purchased through ticketek.com. The event will be broadcast live on FOXTEL’s Main Event and Kayo Sports in Australia.
Images from the press conference can be found here and are to be attributed to Scott Davis / No Limit Boxing:
Here is what the participants had to say to reporters immediately following the press conference on Wednesday:
“When I first heard about it I said yep, no worries let’s do it. At the end of the day, I’ve done every fight No Limit has asked me to have, I’ve had. I’m right at the back end of my career, I’m retiring this year and I’ve told everyone that. So why not challenge myself in a unique way a couple more times.
“I’m still waiting to see how the format is going to go. I really want to fight them one after the other. When I’ve prepared for 10 round fights, I’ve spared two or three guys in that time, so you do a few rounds and then another fresh guy jumps in and you’re warm and ready to go, so that’s the way I’d want it to go.”
“Line them up one after the other, let’s get straight into it. Four rounds Hodges, four rounds Hannant. If I stop them before that, the next guy can jump in and that’s what I want to do and what I think it should be. If it goes like that, I’ve got no doubt I’ll be fine. If there’s a break in between for some reason I’d be a bit concerned about that.”
“I want Hodges to go first as he’s the one that’s been adamant over the past couple of months that he wants to fight me. It’s not a fight I asked for or chased but he’s asked for it and now that he beat Hannant the other day, it’s here.”
“If he doesn’t go first, it’s a cop out and a cheap and easy way for him to try and get a win. It’s a huge advantage for whoever fights me second, so if he really thinks he can beat me, jump in first.”
“It’s going to be a hostile environment, which I’m very much used to in Queensland. It’s about promoting boxing to a biggest audience, help guys like Harry Garside get to the level that he wants to get to and if I can be a part of that I’m happy to do it.”
“This fight has always been about me and it’s something I’ve wanted for a long time. I’ve been pretty active the last couple of months and got my victories and this is my going out fight and why not test yourself against the best.
“I’ve said it publicly alot that Gal’s been the best crossover athlete to come over to boxing and that’s what it’s all about, testing yourself.”
“If I get to go first, I feel sorry for Benny as I plan on getting him out early. Time will tell if he’s bitten off more than he can chew but he won’t leave anything out there, that’s for sure.”
“It’s going to be a crazy atmosphere as there’ll be a lot of Queenslanders in our corner so hopefully everyone goes out and buys a ticket to come and support us. For every queenslander that’s been wanting to see Gal get knocked out for years, hopefully you’ll get to see that in a few weeks.”
“I don’t care about the money, I don’t care for any bets he is proposing. I’ve dedicated myself to get the victory and that’s all I care about. The money comes second.”
“It’s going to be fireworks and one of us is going to get caught. I can’t control the fact he said yes to fighting two of us in one night but I want him first and I’m going to beat him.”
“I’d rather go first to be honest. I want to test myself when he’s fresh and I’m fresh as I go into every fight believing I can win, just like he does so I don’t want any excuses for either of us on the result.
“We’re similar builds and have big engines and I don’t see it going the distance. It’ll be whoever has the stronger jaw as I will land a few and he’ll land a few, so the real winner will be the fans who come and watch it and tune in on Main Event.”
“If I don’t get to fight Gal cause Hodges knocks him out, then that’s ok with me too because it means that a Queenslander wins. My destiny is in my own hands and if I can get the job done, then that would be a massive highlight of my sporting career.”
No Limit CEO George Rose
“The idea actually started with him (Gallen). When Benny and Hodgo were fighting, I’m sure he said ‘I’d fight the pair of them in one night’ and I thought, yeah that sounds good. Then you hear other people saying it, saying Gal will beat both of these blokes and I sat there and thought, well would he?”
“I’m not convinced that he will but it’s something that I’d love to see. I’ve never seen a guy fight two people in the one night. The most feared New South Wales Blues leader of all time, he’s going to be the one willing to do it.”
“I think that the two could get over him, it’s an impossible feat. In Over 100 years (in Australia) it hasn’t been done, two guys fighting another man on the same night in professional heavyweight bouts.It’s crazy, it’s deadset crazy!”
“We are working on what the process is going to be for the fight. Over the years I’ve watched a lot of WWE, I love the tag teams, I love the Royal Rumbles. I love the idea that if Gal stops the first guy, the music is playing and the next guy comes running out.”