The celebrity boxing trend is not limited to the United States. This week in Australia we have former interim UFC heavyweight title contender Mark Hunt set to box retired rugby league player Paul Gallen.
And, if their antics are to be believed, there is plenty of bad blood involved in this one. Yesterday, at the official weigh-ins for the event, Hunt shoved Gallen off the scales. There were some attempts to hold Hunt back, but he shucked them off and threw a couple of punches at Gallen. The pair were eventually separated.
Check out what happened below:
Yo they’re just about to punch on at the weigh ins pic.twitter.com/j4taZmFxGH— Brendan Bradford (@1bbradfo) December 15, 2020
More angles, and interviews with both Hunt and Gallen, are provided here by Sporting News Australia:
Hunt and Gallen will be fighting on the undercard of an event that sees Tim Tszyu fight Bowyn Morgan in the headliner.
Gallen is 39. His rugby career spanned from 2006 to 2012. In 2012 he started boxing. His first fight was against a fellow former rugby player, which he won. Since then Gallen has amassed a 9-0-1 pro record. Three of his fights were against established combat sports athletes, the rest were also rugby players.
In the pre-fight press conference Gallen said the reason he was fighting Hunt was simple. Money.
“I’ve got no interest in legacy,” said Gallen (per Fox Sports Australia). “Legacy’s what you get when you don’t get paid. I’m here to get paid, I’m here to earn good money and fight a big name.”
At that event Gallen also said that Hunt should have “stayed in retirement” and warned that “he won’t come out of it after this.”
This comment garnered a heated reaction from the former K-1 and UFC star.
“This ain’t footy, this is fighting,” replied Hunt. “I don’t know where he gets his ideas, especially with the money side. He’s talking sh*t again.”
Hunt then told Gallen that he was going to put him to sleep.
Hunt has a 0-1-1 pro boxing record stemming from fights he took in 1998 and 2000. In kickboxing Hunt’s record is listed as 30-13 with 13 KO wins. During his career in K-1, Hunt also competed in MMA, fighting in Pride between 2004 and 2006.
After Pride closed Hunt took a couple of fights in Japan before joining the UFC in 2010. He made his debut at UFC 119, losing by submission to Sean McCorkle. After that loss Hunt reeled off four straight wins, beating Chris Tuchscherer (KO), Ben Rothwell, Cheick Kongo (TKO) and Stegan Struve (TKO).
Hunt then lost a Fight of the Night to Junior dos Santos after being hit with a spinning hook kick. In 2013 Hunt fought to a bloody draw (later a no contest) with Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva. He followed up that performance by knocking out Roy Nelson, to earn a interim UFC heavyweight title shot versus Fabricio Werdum.
Hunt lost to Werdum by TKO. And he was TKO’d by Stipe Miocic the following year. He rebounded with quick stoppage wins over Bigfoot and Frank Mir.
In 2016, at UFC 200, Hunt faced Brock Lesnar. On the night Hunt lost a decision to Lesnar, but the bout was declared a no contest after Lesnar tested positive for a banned substance. Hunt then sued the UFC, Lesnar and Dana White for conspiracy to commit crime related to racketeering, fraud and breach of contract.
After the Lesnar fighter Hunt went 1-4 in the UFC and was released in 2019.
Hunt vs. Gallen takes place on pay-per-view on December 16th. It’s available via Main Event.