Paul Gallen has finished his professional boxing career in style, coming away with the unanimous decision victory over fellow NRL great Justin Hodges.
The pair fought back in September and with the rematch set to be the Sharks legend’s final bout, all eyes were on the pair as they went toe-to-toe in Sydney.
Gallen would prove far too strong for Hodges however, outclassing him across the six rounds and bowing out of the sport a winner.
In the main event of the evening, Michael Zerafa continued his pursuit of a world title with a decision win over Danilo Creati in a disappointing fight, while rising star Paulo Aokuso proved far too strong for veteran opponent David Zegarra with a dominant second-round win.
Earlier in the night, departing Roosters legend Sio Siua Taukeiaho won his pro debut – but the same couldn’t be said for Daniel Suluka-Fifita, who fell short in his first time inside the boxing ring.
The Sporting News had all the live coverage of the event throughout the night below.
Paul Gallen vs. Justin Hodges II results
Michael Zerafa def. Danilo Creati
Via unanimous decision (98-93 99-91 98-92)
Zerafa wins an interesting contest, with neither man landing any major blows. Zerafa describes it as ‘a s**t performance’ on his own behalf and admits he overlooked the ‘awkward’ Creati.
Round 10: Both men shake hands and hug before the final round. Creati lands a nice combination as the crowd urge him on against the villain Zerafa. Creati looks for a big right hand but misses. Zerafa pushes Creati up against the ropes and lands a combination. A nice jab from Creati forces Zerafa to chase and throw some late shots. The pair trade blows for the final 20 seconds of the fight, which was more than could be said for the other nine rounds.
Round 9: Two rounds remaining. Zerafa begins to chip away with left jabs. Creati lands a nice right jab, before a flurry of lefts sees the two men come together. Zerafa lands with an overhand right, before going back to the quick left jabs. Zerafa lands some good shots, but Creati grabs onto him and stops the onslaught. Easily the best round for Zerafa.
Round 8: Zerafa looks to show some intent early in the round. He presses forward and lands a shot in the corner on Creati, who has begun to slow down and looks to be tiring. Zerafa lands a nice combo in the corner. Zerafa lunges in with some body shots late in the round.
Round 7: Creati is showing the effects in the corner, with some swelling around the eye. Both men come out swinging for this round. Zerafa lands some hard shots in the corner but it has little impact on his opponent. Zerafa finishes with a couple of good right hands. This is quite an even fight and will be tough for the judges if it continues to go down this path. Jeff Fenech describes it as ‘an ordinary performance’ from both men.
Round 6: Half way done and there’s been little for the stats guys to worry about, with neither man landing any significant shots in the first five rounds. Zerafa lands some good left hands, but Creati brushes them off. Zerafa remains the aggressor out of the two and peppers Creati with some solid jabs. Creati lands a nice right hand late in the round.
Round 5: The pair come together but the referee splits them up. Zerafa backs Creati into the corner again, but the latter punches out with a good shot. Zerafa searches for the left hook and misses, before going to the body. Creati lands a beautiful right hook to close out the round.
Round 4: Zerafa backs Creati into the corner early, but he pushes out. Zerafa lands a solid left hook in the centre. Zerafa looks for the combination blows and an uppercut, but it doesn’t land. Creati hooks and lands, before Zerafa continues to press forward to finish the round.
Round 3: Both fighters trade blows in the centre. Creati lands a few left jabs, before going for the right hook that misses the mark. Steady as she goes for the middleweight pair after three rounds.
Round 2: Creati lands a nice combination early. Zerafa looks to cut off the ring and pressure Creati, who boxes his way out of the ropes and chases Zerafa. No meaningful shots landed yet but both fighters are looking good.
Round 1: Slow pace to start the round as both fighters go through the feeling out process. Zerafa presses forward with some shots to the body, but Creati lands a nice counter shot. Zerafa hits an uppercut in the clinch to finish the round.
The action isn’t over for tonight – the main event is upon us, as Michael Zerafa takes on the undefeated Danilo Creati in a middleweight bout.
Paul Gallen def. Justin Hodges
Via unanimous decision (60-54 60-54 59-55)
Gallen secures the victory via unanimous decision, with the judges scoring it 60-54 60-54 59-55 in the Sharks legend’s favour.
Round 6: The final round is here and Gallen is well ahead in this fight. Hodges needs a finish desperately, but Gallen won’t rest on his laurels. Gallen forces Hodges up against the ropes, which has been the story of this fight, and throws some shots in close. Gallen connects with a nice overhand right, before a flurry of shots put Hodges in real danger. They finish with some rusty blows as Hodges survives the round and the fight, but this one was all Gallen.
Round 5: Five minutes to go. Gallen connects with the left hook, but Hodges manages to land a shot as well. Gallen lands some big shots in the corner but a tiring Hodges survives. Gallen goes to the body of Hodges late in the round.
Round 4: Into the second-half of the fight now. Gallen continues to press forward. Hodges lands a good counter right hand up high. Gallen lands a left jab, before collecting Hodges with a flurry of rights and lefts up against the ropes late in the round.
Round 3: Hodges looks for the right hook but misses. Gallen lands a few good shots with Hodges up against the ropes. Gallen throws a couple of wild shots but Hodges evades.
Round 2: Gallen comes out aggressively again for the second round and backs Hodges up. The Queensland great fires up at Gallen and the referee over an alleged shot to the back of the head, but the official clears it and puts Hodges in his place. Gallen fires away a nice left hook but Hodges shakes it off and gets clear. A nice left jab from Gallen lands toward the end of the round.
Round 1: Gallen pressures straight away. Hodges jabs nicely but Gallen continues to control the pace and the ring position. Steady first round from both men, but it was Gallen who is after the early stoppage.
The main attraction of the night is upon us. Justin Hodges makes the walk first to some Tyga action, before Paul Gallen comes out for the final time in his storied professional sporting career.
Paulo Aokuso def. David Zegarra
Via round two TKO
“Sweet P” goes to 3-0 with another clinical stoppage victory.
The southpaw, fighting in front of a raucous home crowd, dropped the Peruvian veteran with a right hook in the first round.
Smelling blood, Aokuso swarmed with Zegarra on the ropes in the second round, landing a left which closed the show.
Sio Siua Taukeiaho def. Jaiman Lowe
Via unanimous decision (39-36, 40-35 x2))
The former NRL star got his boxing journey off to a winning start over another ex-rugby league big man in Jaiman Lowe.
Taukeiaho scored a knockdown in the second round, nearly sending Lowe through the ropes, although it may have been part slip.
Taukeiaho says he’d like another fight next off-season.
Joel Taylor def. Ty Telford
Via round six TKO (Corner retirement)
Taylor remains unbeaten and claims the biggest victory of his career after Telford retires on the stool after the sixth round.
In what was an absolute barnburner, both Taylor and Telford ate some monstrous shots but the 22-year-old Victorian proved too strong in the end.
Taylor moves to 9-0 and no doubt wins a legion of fans for his skill and toughness.
Liam Talivaa def. Louis Marsters
Via unanimous decision (40-35 x3)
Talivaa goes to 3-0 with a convincing victory over the durable Marsters.
It could have gone awry for Talivaa who appeared to hit Marsters with an illegal shot after dropping him in the first round but he avoided sanction and dominated the rest of the fight.
Koen Mazoudier def. Wade Ryan
Via unanimous decision (77-76, 77-75 x2)
Mazoudier exacts revenge in the rematch, scoring a nice victory over the tough Ryan in an exciting clash.
Having lost to Ryan early last year, Mazoudier started brightly but Ryan’s left hand began to land as the fight went on.
Mazoudier seemed to find a second wind in the final round which sealed the bout for him.
Shanell Dargan draws Chandni Mehra
(39-37, 37-39, 38-38)
The second draw of the night sees Dargan and Mehra split the points.
It wasn’t quite as dramatic as some of Dargan’s other bouts, with Mehra managing to keep the Aussie at bay with strong jabs.
Bryce Jones def. Daniel Suluka-Fifita
Via unanimous decision (39-37 x3)
Jones spoils the party for Suluka-Fifita on debut.
The Souths forward started decently but Jones was up for the challenge and his extra experience began to show as he landed the bigger shots on a fading Suluka-Fifita.
Tommy Browne def. Jorge Kapeen
Via unanimous decision (59-55 x2, 60-54)
The previously retired Browne’s comeback is a successful one as he scores a convincing points victory over a game Kapeen.
Browne appeared to get stronger as the fight went on and showed he’s still got plenty left in the tank.
Deanha Hobbs def. Tywarna Campbell
Via unanimous decision (49-46 x3)
A very tidy performance from the former world title challenger,
Hobbs proved too sharp, both at range and in close and claims a nice decision win.
George Peterson draws Gary Phillips
(39-37, 37-39, 38-38)
A heavyweight war to kick off the Fox Sports portion of the card.
It won’t win any awards for technical ability but it kept the fans entertained.
Don’t be surprised to see this one rebooked.
WHAT A WAR! George Peterson and Gary Phillips just Would. Not. Stop. 🤯
📺 Order Zerafa v Creati plus Gallen v Hodges 2 – TONIGHT on Main Event: https://t.co/oW5SOoFIaf pic.twitter.com/HPL9PTpEZE
— MAIN EVENT (@MainEventTV) November 23, 2022
Ben Hussain def. Michael Pengue
Via round two TKO
Hussain gets himself back into the win column with an emphatic dismantling of Pengue.
Gallen vs. Hodges II start time
All times AEDT and dependent on length of earlier bouts.
Doors to venue open at 4pm ahead of the first bout at 4:30pm.
The main card and pay-per-view portion of the evening is scheduled to start at 7pm.
Expect Gallen and Hodges to make their way to ring for the main event some time after 9pm.
Zerafa vs. Creati will be the final fight of the night and is likely to start after 9:30pm.
How to watch Gallen vs. Hodges II?
Fox Sports and Main Event will have you covered for fight night.
Tune into Fox League from 5pm to catch some of the action from the undercard.
The pay-per-view can be purchased through Main Event from 7pm.
Gallen vs. Hodges II live stream
Foxtel’s streaming service Kayo will also be broadcasting the event live.
From 6pm, you can catch the prelims before it switches to pay-per-view at 7pm, after which time you can purchase the event through Kayo here.
Who else is fighting? Gallen vs. Hodges II undercard
Card and order subject to change.
Michael Zerafa vs. Danilo Creati, middleweight
Paul Gallen vs. Justin Hodges II, heavyweight
Paulo Aokuso vs. David Zegarra, light-heavyweight
Sio Siua Taukeiaho vs. Jaiman Lowe, heavyweight
Ty Telford vs. Joel Taylor, welterweight
Liam Talivaa vs. Louis Marsters, heavyweight
Wade Ryan vs. Koen Mazoudier II, super-welterweight
Shanell Dargan vs. Chandni Mehra, featherweight
Daniel Suluka-Fifita vs. Bryce Jones, heavyweight
Tommy Browne vs. Jorge Kapeen, super-welterweight
Tywarna Campbell vs. Deanha Hobbs, super-featherweight
George Peterson vs. Gary Phillips, heavyweight
Micky Pengue vs. Ben Hussain, super-welterweight