For those who hadn’t heard, Cronulla Sharks and NSW captain Paul Gallen made a successful debut into the world of professional boxing last night. His second round TKO win over the young and powerful over Herman Purcell mean he now has a professional victory to go with his 2 charity victories inside the squared circle.
For those who didn’t see the fight, I urge you to catch a replay as it was by far the most exciting of any of the “footy turn boxer” fights we’ve seen thus far. The crowd was stunned when Gallen was floored by a big left hook, that everyone in the building except the Sharks lock saw coming midway through the first.
Gallen took the standing 8 count before heading back into war, seeing out the round. In the second Gallen caught Purcell with a beautiful jab that lead to the later offering his chin and a smile. Gallen set up a beautiful combination that stunned the youngster before working him into the corner and landing a barrage of rights and lefts until the referee called it off.
As the referee had hold of Gallen, Purcell landed a few shots, which Gallen then took exception to. Both men ended up being pulled apart from trainers and officials. It was completely farcical scenes but it was a fun as all get out.
So yeah, it was a good fight, fun to watch. Gallen overcame the knockdown to score a second round TKO victory, and the post match scuffle was fun. Gallen answered a lot of questions with his performance, but I still have one …
What the hell were the Sharks doing letting him fight 2 weeks away from the start of the NRL season?
If Purcell’s haymaker had caught Gallen flush on the nose, blood was going to gush and Gallen’s nose would have been spread across his face, such is the power of the young Queenslander. Gallen was lucky that he only caught it at full extension and not with the full power, or his night was over.
Sharks fans and officials were congratulating their (our) captain on the win, and I fully admit, I got caught up in the hype and cheered when his hand was raised … but what if he had copped that haymaker sweet and broke his nose? Not only would he miss the start of the season, but he’d then have to play with a facemask to cover the injury, which is always going to affect your mindset out on field.
The ONLY reason I can think of for Sharks officials green lighting the fight was they felt they owed Gal. Gallen has been the backbone, the heart and soul of the club for years now. He has saved us many times over and has lead tackle and hit up counts by miles. When he retires they’ll name a grandstand after him, erect a statue and hell we may even be known as the ‘Cronulla Gallen Sharks’ such is how much he has meant to the club. So yeah if he asks to fight, the club probably isn’t going to say no …
What if he has been knocked out, or even injured in training for the fight? He will miss this week’s trial game against the Tigers due to the fight and he sat out the Sunday of the 9s to ensure he didn’t burn out. Now I doubt he would have played the Sunday anyways such was the success of the club’s younger players at the tourne, but with 2 weeks to go until the NRL season, I would have though his ONLY focus would have been the Sharks.
For the record if he wants to fight again, I’ll support him every step, I’ll cheer, hell I’ll probably even get the PPV or tickets to the card, I just hope it doesn’t happen 2 weeks before the start of the season. A nice December fight would be nice …
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
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