The shocking revelation by Justin Hodges about the punch that killed Paul Gallen
Justin Hodges has backed up claims that Paul Gallen’s famous chin is gone, revealing that his punch that knocked out the NSW Origin great in their first meeting was “thrown with only 40% of my power.”
Hodges has promised to “crush” Gallen by sending him into retirement with a brutal KO loss less than a week before Gallen’s highly anticipated Sydney boxing farewell.
Watch Gallen vs. Hodges 2 and Michael Zerafa’s return to the ring LIVE on Foxtel & Kayo Sports on Wednesday, November 23 at 7pm AEDT.
The audacious prediction comes only a day after Australian boxing legend Jeff Fenech predicted Hodges would knock Gallen out in his farewell fight.
Fenech claimed that Gallen was no longer the same man who had withstood the power of UFC legend Mark Hunt and breakout Aussie star Justis Huni after 20 years in both the NRL and heavyweight boxing, as well as countless rounds of hard sparring.
Gallen has had an outstanding crossover career – and has become an undeniable Pay-Per-View star – since his first fight in 2014.
Fenech and Hodges, both 41, believe one of Australia’s most famous chins has weakened.
In fact, despite losing their first fight in September due to a controversial stoppage, Hodges rocked and dropped the man who has famously never been kayoed in the second round.
That moment, in particular, has the Brisbane premiership favourite convinced he can be the first man to knock Gallen out cold.
When asked about the right hand that knocked out his Origin rival this week, Hodges told Fox Sports Australia, “Honestly, the punch wasn’t even that hard.”
“It was just one I threw to turn him away from me.”
“I was actually surprised how easily he dropped.”
So, how difficult is it not to be difficult?
“I spun a quick little right hand without even having my feet planted to get all my power.”
“In retrospect, I wish I had hit him harder.”
“I don’t think he’d get up.”
“However, it was only 40%, maybe 50% of how hard I can hit.”
“That’s why I’m so optimistic about the rematch.” “I know if I hit that one big shot, he won’t get up.”
To that end, Hodges has been working hard this camp with trainer Adam Copland and former Australian heavyweight champion Faiga ‘Django’ Opelu on learning to land the knockout blow.
Hodges, like Fenech, believes Gallen no longer has the chin of a fighter who has upset both Hunt and Australia’s first heavyweight world champion, Lucas Browne.
“Gal is definitely weathered in terms of taking big hits,” Hodges said.
“The loss to Justis Huni, in particular, took a toll on him over those ten rounds.”
“Then there’s all his sparring on top of that.”
“All the unnoticed punches.”
“And when you consider the number of rounds Gal has done and the caliber of his sparring partners, he has definitely taken his hits.”
“So I’ll be looking for that one big shot — and I think I’ll be able to get it.”
When asked about his chances of becoming the first man to knock out Gallen, Hodges replied, “I know it’s the only way I win.”
“However, I am powerful. Also, both hands.
“That’s why I believe he’ll fall.”
“That big knock out is something I’ve been picturing as well, and it’s what I’m aiming for.”
And how would your former Origin opponent feel about leaving Australian sport via KO?
“Well, I know it’s not how he wants to go out,” Hodges joked.
“It will crush you.”
“But, despite our rivalry and other issues, there’s no denying Gal has done incredible things for boxing.”
“Look at what he’s accomplished and the spotlight he’s shone on people like Tim Tszyu.”
“From fighting on a Gallen undercard to preparing for his own world title fight, Tim has come a long way.” And there are a lot of fighters like that.
“So he’s been great for boxing.”
“It’s just a shame he won’t be getting his fairytale send-off.”