Justin Hodges wants to knock Paul Gallen out so badly, he wants the judges to “have the night off” as the Queensland great called on his adversary to be a “man of his word” and honor their bet.
Before his fight against fellow Maroons legend Ben Hannant, it was first revealed by foxsports.com.au that Hodges and Gallen made a bet that a fight between the two would take place in whichever state won this year’s Origin series.
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Queensland ultimately emerged victorious by winning the decider at Suncorp Stadium, much to the delight of Hodges as he would get to fight Gallen on home soil.
Hodges, fresh off his second win in the space of three weeks after beating Jordan Simi last week, is now eyeing up the big fish of Gallen in what will almost certainly be the last fight for both.
Such is the 40-year-old’s desire to make the fight happen, he’s even willing to renege on their wager and venture down to New South Wales if that’s what it will take.
“At the end of the day, he made the bet that whoever won the Origin was where we would hold the fight,” Hodges told foxsports.com.au.
“I agreed to it, I agreed to it. Obviously Queensland won, so he’s got to come up to Brisbane to fight me. Hopefully he’s a man of his word, I am.
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“If I have to come to Sydney to fight him, I don’t care. I just want to get in the ring against him and test myself and that will be my last fight.
“If he doesn’t want to uphold his end of the bargain and fight in Queensland, I’ll come to NSW, it doesn’t bother me.
“But at the end of the day, he made the bet out of his own mouth that the winner would get to host the fight. Hopefully he is a man of his word from him.”
In his boxing career to date, Hodges has fought in Queensland on one occasion compared to his five bouts on enemy territory.
It’s no surprise then that against Simi, Hodges was showered with boos from the crowd at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney, with several chants of “New South Wales” breaking out during the fight.
However, Hodges is keen to flip the script when it comes to the backing.
“I’d expect the Queensland fans to come out and support the fight, but I’ll also have the hometown advantage of everyone supporting me,” Hodges said.
“He’s (Gallen) got to be a man and face up to it and come up to Queensland and fight. He’s done it before, he’s played Origin up here and knows what the Queensland fans are going to be like. He’s agreed to it, he’s just got to get on that plane and meet me up here.”
As to when the former rugby league stars could square off, foxsports.com.au understands that a date in September or October will be most likely.
It would give Hodges significantly more time to prepare in comparison to his two previous fights.
While his last two fights have gone to the judge’s scorecards, Hodges doesn’t want that to be the case for the last time he steps into the ring.
Instead, he’s happy for the judges to knock off early and let him and Gallen swing until one of them can swing no more.
“He obviously is going to suit me to a tee,” Hodges said.
“He’s a guy that walks forward and I’m going to punch him as hard as I possibly can.
“I got to showcase a little bit of my power in the Ben Hannant fight. In the Jordan (Simi) fight I didn’t get to because he sort of ran a little bit, but it’s different because he was a southpaw.
“I want to punch him up so bad, I want to hurt him. At the end of the day, I’m more than happy for there to be no judges. I don’t want to win on points, I want to win by knock out.
“Do not disrespect the judges, but they can have the night off. Let me and him go toe-to-toe.”