Former Australian Kangaroos captain Paul Gallen made it nine fights, nine wins in the boxing ring this evening with the brutal KO of former Manly bad boy John Hopoate.
Gallen dismantled his opponent halfway through the second round with a vicious left hook, before three more huge punches forced the referee to step in.
John Hopoate, who is the father of current Bulldogs star Will Hopoate, retired from rugby league with one of the worst disciplinary records in history and taunted Galen endlessly in the build up to the fight.
However, Gallen let his fists do the talking on his ageing opponent who is some eight years older than him, with Hopoate falling to the ground as the ref waved the fight off.
After the contest, the Cronulla captain spoke to the Australian media about the fight and called out Sonny Bill Williams.
— Odds.com.au (@OddsComAu) February 8, 2019
“When I knew I had him I looked at the ref to stop punching, I had to do what I had to do,” Gallen said.
“I feel like I’m getting better, I’m looking forward to getting back to the footy, I’ll maybe have one more fight at the end of the year.
“Hoppa is known as a bad guy but I know the bloke, he’s made mistakes but he’s only ever been a gentleman to me.
“The last couple of weeks have got personal but I’m happy to shake his hand now, I’ve only got respect for him.”
Nice touch from John Hopoate, came into Paul Gallen’s dressing room just now, congratulated him and told him he respects him and wishes him well. Gallen equally respectful and gracious pic.twitter.com/mQMivx4dh7
— Jamie Pandaram (@JamiePandaram) February 8, 2019
As mentioned, Gallen has now won all nine of his fights in the boxing ring and a long-awaited bout against former league star Sonny Bill Williams could well be on the cards.
Despite not fighting since 2015, SBW also has a perfect record in the ring winning all of his seven fights, claiming the New Zealand Heavyweight title in the process.
Speaking at the end of 2018, the former Bulldogs and Roosters forward said he was unfazed at anything he had seen from Gallen and told him he would fight in good time.
“Tell my good friend Paul, he can just relax and we will get there eventually,” SBW told the Sydney Morning Herald. “He keeps calling me out by attacking me and questioning my manhood. That kind of talk, I’m past that stage in my life.
“I’ve been involved in sports for long enough to understand that the bravado, the macho talk is just rubbish. That’s just water off a duck’s back to me, so to speak. That’s what I’d say about that situation brother.”