Paul Gallen fears '115kg monster' Hika Elliot

Last updated 19:46 11/12/2012
Paul Gallen
Getty Images

Paul Gallen in action for NSW during last year's State of Origin series.

Relevant offers

League

Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney clears air with Benji Marshall ahead of Anzac test Kiwis and South Sydney hooker Issac Luke fined $10,000 by NRL for homophobic slur Cronulla forward Chris Heighington cops three-week NRL ban for dangerous throw Kiwis replacement Jason Nightingale arrives at training wearing a moon boot Kangaroos fullback Billy Slater ruled out of Anzac test against Kiwis in Brisbane Manly Sea Eagles re-sign trio, close in on Gold Coast Titans playmaker Kane Elgey Jason Nightingale called into Kiwis team for Anzac test in Brisbane Kangaroos skipper Cameron Smith endorses Greg Inglis as the man to replace him NRL boss Dave Smith says Origin, Auckland Nines may be sold separately in new broadcast deal New South Wales captain Paul Gallen expected to be ruled out of State of Origin opener

Paul Gallen didn't mince words when asked about the greatest fear heading into his boxing debut on Saturday night.

''Getting knocked out by a 115kg monster,'' said the NSW and Cronulla skipper, who will swap footy boots for boxing gloves in the name of charity.

Gallen will go up against Hika Elliott, part of a rugby league  versus rugby union 'Fight for Life' event in Auckland that also includes NRL stars Willie Mason, Greg Bird and Manu Vatuvei.

The Sharks hardman admitted the nerves were starting to take hold as he headed into the great unknown.

''I'm nervous, no doubt about it,'' Gallen said.

''On the footy field I put myself in this position every week of  possibly getting myself knocked out, but I've been doing it since I  was six years old so I know what to do when I get in certain circumstances, I feel comfortable out there.

"This is an arena where I don't know what to do.''

Mason, who recently re-signed with Newcastle for two more years,  said the boxing ring can feel like a lonely place.

''We all feel safe on the footy field, you've got your mates there backing you up,'' he said.

''But we're all well aware that you are by yourself in there.''

Gallen's fears haven't been helped by reports Elliott, an All Blacks hooker who plays with Super Rugby champions the Chiefs, is an experienced kick-boxer who also holds a black belt in kung fu.

Still, the prospect of an ugly mismatch hasn't stopped Gallen getting ribbed by his mates.

''(Sharks teammate) Ben Pomeroy's come up with the best line so  far,'' Gallen said.

''We've (Gallen and Bird) been known as the 'Bruise Brothers', but if we get knocked out we'll be the 'Snooze Brothers.'

''Let's hope that doesn't happen.''

There'll be a few NRL coaches hoping the same.

''He just said enjoy the experience and come back in one piece,'' Mason said of the last words of advice from Knights coach Wayne  Bennett.

''He'll be blaming Flavs (opponent Troy Flavell) if I get knocked out.''

A popular villain across the Tasman, Mason has assumed the role of headline act with his heavyweight bout against 22-Test former All Blacks second-rower Flavell.

Of all the fighters taking to the ring on Saturday night, Mason  - who has been training with three-time world champion Jeff Fenech  - is seen as the one most likely to make a career as a pugilist.

His desire to box was one of the chief reasons he quit the Bulldogs in 2007, but he said he was taking a wait-and-see approach to any possible career change.

But following the lead of good friend Sonny Bill Williams and mixing boxing with footy wasn't on the cards.

''I don't know if I want to keep training this hard,'' Mason said of the possibility of turning his hand to boxing fulltime.

''I might think about it after (Saturday night), but I'm dedicated to the Knights for two more years.

''I don't think I'll be one of those blokes throwing in a couple of fights every year because I know how hard it is to play at the  top of the NRL and to box at a high level - it's 24-7.''

Ad Feedback

- AAP

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who is your pick for international league player of the year?

Shaun Johnson

Jesse Bromwich

Sam Burgess

James Graham

Greg Inglis

Johnathan Thurston

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content