Paul Gallen and Justin Hodges reach bizarre compromise on round length ahead of rematch

Home Sports Paul Gallen and Justin Hodges reach bizarre compromise on round length ahead of rematch
Paul Gallen and Justin Hodges reach bizarre compromise on round length ahead of rematch

Paul Gallen and Justin Hodges have reached a compromise on the length of rounds for their fight on Wednesday night.

It was confirmed at Monday’s press conference that the fight would be scheduled for six, two-and-a-half minute rounds.

Gallen had been holding firm on his wish for three-minute rounds, backing his conditioning and experience to give him the edge over Hodges who has only ever fought two-minute rounds throughout his seven professional bouts.

MORE: Everything you need to know about Gallen vs. Hodges II

In the end, an agreement was reached, although it appears neither side are particularly happy about it.

“I was standing firm on three, he was standing firm on two and they’ve come up with two-and-a-half,” Gallen told Sporting News.

“It is what it is, it’s embarrassing but I wasn’t going to knock back the chance to finish this bloke off once and for all.”

Gallen holds a 1-0 lead over Hodges ahead of the rematch, having stopped the former Maroons star in the third round in Brisbane back in September.

On that occasion, Gallen had already gone four rounds with Ben Hannant earlier in the night.

Despite getting the win against Hodges, Gallen was dropped in the second round.

The New South Wales legend believes it will be a far more convincing performance this time around.

“I’ll be fresh, I’ll be ready to go and I won’t have that adrenaline dump, having a 110 kilo bloke in there leaning all over me and making me carry him around the ring,” Gallen said of backing up to fight Hodges after Hannant.

“I felt sorry for Ben Hannant, he went better than [Hodges] as far as boxing goes, but he didn’t try to win the fight, he just tried to survive.

“I’m amazed where this confidence [has come from], that Justin Hodges is even a chance here of winning, I just don’t see it.”

Gallen admits he took the challenge lightly last time around but remains adamant the knockdown only came about due to an illegal shot from Hodges.

“I didn’t respect them last time. I went into that fight thinking, ‘I’ll stop this whenever I want,’” he said.

“I’ve realised that’s just not the way it works, it’s not the way you can treat your opponents, you can’t be like that.

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“When I think about his knockdown, it was a king hit, I was not looking at him, I was looking at the referee when the referee called ‘break’. 

“The referee was in between us and he punched me with a beautiful right hand.

“Can he land that punch when I’m looking? Can he land that punch when the ref’s not in between us? I don’t think so.”
 

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