Gallen exposes Code War stitch-up
Paul Gallen believes his fight in Melbourne next week with Barry Hall is an ambush set up for the AFL legend to win.
The former rugby league great will take on Hall on Friday week in a fight dubbed the "Code War" and Gallen says he's up against more than just Hall in the ring.
The fight is being held in the AFL heartland - in a city where Gallen's former NRL club Cronulla are despised after beating Melbourne in the 2016 grand final as well as a rumoured personal feud with Storm skipper Cameron Smith.
It's been held at a time that didn't suit Gallen, who had to juggle training with a speaking tour to the UK which was supposed to double as an end-of-career trip away with mates.
Hall also got his wish for six two-minute rounds rather than three minute, and the former key forward is being trained by the promoter, Danny Green's long-time trainer Angelo Hyder.
"I definitely feel like this is a fight set up for Barry without a doubt," Gallen said.
"He's got everything he wanted - the rounds - he's basically shit-canned everyone I've fought yet he only wants to fight two-minute rounds because he's 42.
"It's going to be pro-Barry crowd - it's clear to see it's heavily weighted in his favour so I've got to go down there and knock him out.
"I'm going to put to bed all of this chat that Barry could have, or should have or still can be a champion boxer."
While in the UK, Gallen, who has had nine fights (5KO), sparred with the likes of Hughie Fury, who is the cousin of former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury as well as up-and-coming Hull boxer Sonny Taylor, who stands the same height as Hall.
He also got into the ring with Rocky Fielding, who late last year lost a WBA super middleweight title fight to Canelo Alvarez.
"To be able to train with guys like that and see the work they do was good," the 38-year-old said.
"I've prepared well and I'm going to ruin everyone's night next week."
Meanwhile, Barry Hall's sparring partners have declared the former star goal-kicker has the knockout power and technique to knock Gallen out next week.
Hall has been sparring cruiserweight fighters Nick Midgley, Daniel Russell and Ben Kelleher because of their similar stature to the shorter Gallen.
Kelleher and Russell have told The Courier-Mail, Gallen should be nervous about Hall's left jab because of the AFL star's superior reach.
"Barry can beat Gallen with the jab alone,'' Russell said.
"He's a tremendous athlete and he fights like an experienced pro. I was really surprised with his sharpness and his movement. He is a natural talent and I think people will be shocked at how well he performs.''