It’s not exactly a blockbuster, but Friday night marks the most highly anticipated heavyweight bout in Australia for quite some time. Code War will see former NRL star Paul Gallen put an undefeated boxing record on the line against former AFL star and boxing debutant, Barry Hall.
Paul Gallen is an accomplished athlete, having achieved nearly everything that Rugby League has to offer throughout a decorated nineteen-year career. Further to his glittering NRL resume, Gallen has steadily built a very credible professional record in the ring since debuting in 2014, which currently stands at 9-0.
His opponent – Barry Hall. Sixteen-year veteran of the AFL, premiership winner with the Sydney Swans and one of the best forwards of the modern era. Hall’s fiery on-field temperament has been well documented, and it’s probably fair to say that he is just as widely known for the ‘Brent Staker Incident’ as he was for his ability with footy in hand.
The fight has been scheduled for six two-minute rounds. Regardless of anything, this is sure to be an absolute treat for spectators and I’ve dissected the fight below. At publish, Gallen remains the $1.67 favourite to defeat Hall ($2.15).
Fight Betting/Method of Victory
The former Cronulla Sharks and New South Wales captain has enjoyed a perfect start to his boxing career; recording nine wins from as many fights, four by TKO. He enters this fight fit off the back of his final NRL season and prior to that, an easy win over forty-five-year-old John Hopoate; a fight in which he was not tested at all.
Hall’s pad work at every media opportunity has looked decent, but there is a big difference between hitting a bag and another human being, and given Gallen’s experience in the ring previously, he faces a potential baptism of fire.
There is every chance that this fight will prove to be Gallen’s biggest test to date but given that Hall is yet to step into the ring competitively, it’s hard to really know what he is in for. Gallen is a heavy hitter and if his size doesn’t inhibit his ability to get near Hall, backing him to win by KO/TKO looks a nice bet.
Tip: Gallen by KO/TKO @ $2.75
Gallen’s enormous punch power has been well documented and providing he can get in and land a few throughout the bout, he’s going to prove extremely difficult to beat.
In terms of round betting, Gallen has typically softened his opponents early before finishing them off in later rounds. Backing Gallen to win in Round 4 at $10, or Round 5 at $10 look extremely tempting.
For fans of Hall, it’s obviously tough to know what we’re going to get with him. If his on-field performances translate into the ring, he is every chance of harbouring a knock-out punch. Backing him to win the fight early may therefore prove a lucrative betting play and at publish, there’s $17 about him to win in Round 2 and $15 in Round 3.
Tip: Gallen to win in Round 5 @ $10