Paul Gallen and Barry Hall enter the ring on Friday night in the Code War. It’s NRL v AFL and Gallen at the moment is favoured over Hall.
As part of our research for the fight, we thought we’d take a look at some other boxing footballers.
Many have had decent careers in the fight game – Billy Johnstone, Monty Betham, even Kayne Pettifer – but for every great fight starring a famous footy player, there are plenty of others that will never reach Hall of Fame status.
1. Quade Cooper v Jack ‘Big Mac’ McInnes
The Wallabies’ star knocked out McInnes in the second round of their 2017 fight, but it was the comparison of the two ‘athletes’ that created most of the conversation. McInnes looked far from fit, especially when compared to the chiselled Cooper.
2. Wendell Sailor v Warwick Capper
A 2009 charity bout that was called off less than a minute into the third round. League, Union and Masked Singer legend Sailor had little trouble with the loudmouthed former AFL star, who’d had enough by the third round.
3. Chris Sandow v Todd Carney
This 2016 bout was on the undercard of Gallen’s fight with Junior Paulo. It was a real slugfest; as Carney said, “It was never going to be pretty…we’re footballers not boxers.” The smaller Sandow was more aggressive, and while one judge had him winning, the other two had it even, so the final verdict was a draw.
Note: Some great brawling action starts at 13:13
4. Mal Meninga v Mark ‘Jacko’ Jackson
A televised bout between the League legend and the AFL madman in 2002 that was part of an NRL/AFL charity boxing night. Meninga won by knockout, a result that more than likely pleased supporters of both codes.
5. Justin Hodges v Troy McMahon
It’s never going to be pretty when you’re fighting a ‘late replacement,’ which was the case for NRL star Justin Hodges this past May. It only took 23 seconds for Hodges to knock out Troy McMahon in a bout that will never be confused with Leonard v Duran or Hagler v Hearns.