NSW captain Paul Gallen says he doesn’t want to be seen as another footy player fighting bums as he embarks on his professional boxing career.
Paul Gallen says he doesn’t want to be “another rugby league player fighting a bum” as he prepares for his professional boxing debut.
After two wins in his two amateur fights, the NSW and Cronulla rugby league captain announced on Friday he will fight 19-year-old Queenslander Herman Ene-Purcell on the undercard of the Daniel Geale-Garth Wood fight at the Hordern Pavilion on February 19.
Ene-Purcell (1-1) is expected to be a stern test for Gallen who said he wanted to be challenged in the ring and not typecast as a rugby league player treating boxing as a sideshow.
“I have been training hard for a while now, two charity bouts were enjoyable … but I’d never thought I would fight to be honest. I just really enjoyed the boxing for the fitness side of things,” Gallen said.
“But after those two fights I really enjoyed it so I thought it was time to step in with the big boys with the smaller gloves and no headgear.
“I don’t know a lot about him but I told the promoters I didn’t want to fight someone who was going to be overweight or someone who when I was going to punch him he was just going to fall over.
“I want to challenge myself. I want to fight someone with some credibility.
“I don’t want to walk out of there and have the media say he is just another footy player fighting a bum, so I said to the boys pick someone good and someone from Queensland who will have the whole state behind him.
“He is solid and he can hit hard, it is going to be a good test for me and I am looking forward to it.”
However Gallen, 32, said he was unlikely to pursue a career in boxing when his rugby league days come to an end.
“I don’t know if I want to make a career out of it,” he said.
“I realise my ability, I don’t have the skills, I didn’t start young I have never been properly taught the skills, I haven’t had an amateur career. But if I can go out there and fight some people with some names and entertain people I wouldn’t mind doing that.”