Promoter George Rose teased the concept that the winner of an ex-NRL showdown in a fortnight’s time might probably be an opponent in Paul Gallen’s last skilled struggle, set for the tip of the 12 months.
Ben Hannant and Justin Hodges will get within the ring on the undercard of Liam Wilson’s struggle in opposition to Argentina’s Matias Rueda for the vacant WBO Worldwide tremendous featherweight title.
“There’s loads on the road on the finish of it – if they’ll placed on a fantastic efficiency, who is aware of what comes subsequent? Paul Gallen hasn’t acquired an opponent,” Rose mentioned at a press convention on Thursday.
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Gallen advised Broad World of Sports activities again in Could that he would retire on the finish of this 12 months irrespective of how his struggle in opposition to Kris Terzievski went – and whereas after the loss he mentioned he might not ever struggle once more, he appears set for a December swansong, as deliberate.
The Hannant vs. Hodges card is ready for the Brisbane Exhibition Centre on June 29, simply a few days after State of Origin II – and two of Queensland’s favorite sons can be letting their fingers, reasonably than their footy, do the speaking.
Hannant mentioned that was how the struggle was initially provided to him, whereas Hodges mentioned the chance to struggle Gallen was a “large carrot” for both man.
“The winner of this struggle, supposedly, it’ll be an Origin duel,” Hannant mentioned.
“That is what acquired bought to me 4 weeks’ in the past.”
Now a radio host, Hannant mentioned he was wanting ahead to the competitiveness that solely skilled sport can carry.
“One factor I miss from retiring from footy was that problem of pushing your self to the restrict, consistently attempting to be the most effective model of your self,” Hannant mentioned.
“I’ve acquired a fairly soft job now doing brekkie radio, the one factor I miss most about rugby league is at all times pushing your self day by day, to succeed in your full potential.”
Hannant joked that it was sensible of Hodges to solely give him a couple of weeks discover on the struggle, confessing that he was sitting on the sofa consuming pizzas and weighing in at practically 120 kilos.
“I used to be a fats mess, to place it evenly,” he mentioned.
“Within the house of two weeks I’ve dropped eight kilos and whereas Hodgy’s sleeping, I am up working.”
The pair performed collectively on the Broncos from 2006 to 2008, and once more from 2011 to 2014 – and stay good buddies, each barb traded coming with a bit of affection behind it.
“He is a Ferrari,” Hannant mentioned of his opponent.
“He is an athlete, he is highly effective, he is skilful. He could also be a Ferrari, however we’re in a sport the place we get banged up and I am pleased to be a 200 Collection Landcruiser.”
Hodges scoffed at a declare from Hannant that the latter would knock him out.
“He ain’t gonna put shit to sleep,” he mentioned.
“For me, it is both going to be my second-last struggle or my final struggle.”
Hodges mentioned he was coaching simply as laborious as Hannant – and he was going to make brief work of issues.
“I haven’t got to rise up at 3.30 and try this work as a result of he is the foolish one which sits on radio and talks shit and eats fatty meals in order that’s his drawback, not mine,” he mentioned.
“We’re good buddies, however as soon as that bell rings, I’ll attempt to take him out as rapidly as I can.”
Hannant was narrowly defeated by Josh Papalii in his solely struggle to this point, whereas Hodges beat ex-Newcastle winger Nathan Ross after consecutive losses to Darcy Lussick and Sandor Earl.
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