Gallen's impact should not be underestimated
Main Event boxing commentator Ben Damon is full of praise for Paul Gallen, who retired from boxing after defeating Justin Hodges in their rematch last night.
Gallen hangs up the gloves with a professional record of 15 wins, 2 losses, and 1 draw on top of a storied rugby league career, playing 350 games with the Cronulla Sharks and captaining New South Wales in State of Origin.
Damon said Gallen’s impact on Australian boxing couldn’t be underestimated.
“He’s had the right idea about boxing, that’s for sure,” Damon told Sports Breakfast.
“He’s come through with an eye on the genuine fighters around him, Tim Tszyu is one who really lent in to fighting on Paul Gallen’s undercards and ultimately made a name for himself and is now the biggest boxer in the country.
“His legacy in boxing is safe, he’s a boxing man and he’s done great things for the sport.”
Gallen claimed some big scalps in the ring, including combat sports legend Mark Hunt and former Commonwealth heavyweight title holder Lucas Browne.
“He was so good, so relentless a few years ago, and he’s just not quite at that level anymore,” Damon said.
“He’s been a very good boxer, in fact … the things that he’s managed to do, he nearly went the distance with Justis Huni, maybe the best heavyweight we’ve ever produced in this country.”
Damon was less impressed with Michael Zerafa, who beat Italian upstart Danilo Creati by unanimous decision but looked far from his best.
“It was a shocker, it was a really rough fight to call to be honest,” he said.
“I did feel like leaving about halfway through, but someone had to stick it out, because I’m not sure too many who were watching did.”
The number one ranked WBA middleweight surprised observers by taking the bout on short notice, saying he needed the rounds to prepare for an upcoming bout with the legendary Gennadiy Golovkin.
“When you’re the main event on a pay-per-view after Paul Gallen has had his last ever sporting performance, really deserved a bit more than that,” Damon said.
The Golovkin-Zerafa battle is yet to be officially confirmed, but the ‘Pretty Boy’ claims the fighters have verbally agreed to face off.