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Paul Gallen has proved, once again, that he's an absolute machine.
The former rugby league player has been fittingly labelled "the toughest man in Australia" following his 10-round slug-fest with respected boxer Kris Terzievski.
Terzievski dominated for much of the bout, but a late surge from Gallen left everyone stunned as the 40-year-old came agonisingly close to securing a comeback for the ages.
There was no love lost between the two heavyweights during the build-up to their grudge match.
Tensions well and truly reached boiling point when Cronulla Sharks legend Gallen stormed out of their press conference, accusing his rival of not doing anything to promote the fight.
When it came time to settle their differences, the bad blood was apparent with both men coming out swinging.
Terzievski, a seasoned veteran inside the ring, ended up clinching victory – although he looked shakey late on.
In the final two rounds, Gallen heroically fought back and had his opponent wobbled with some devastating punches from the clinch.
Unfortunately for Gallen, it was too little too late as he came up short in his quest to become the first cross-code sports star to win the national heavyweight title.
"Age probably caught up with me a bit. What can you do?" Gallen said during his post-fight interview.
"That's life. Everyone gets old and whether I do it again, I'm not too sure. We'll have to wait and see.
"Yeah, it could be it. We'll see."
Terzievski, who had to dig deep to hold on, was equally as impressed with his opponent's show of heart.
“Paul, you’re an absolute champion, brother,” Terzievski said.
“You’re the toughest bloke I have ever hit in my life. Literally the toughest man in Australia.”
Gallen's gutsy efforts certainly didn't go unnoticed as both men were greeted with a standing ovation from those in Newcastle, while others watching the broadcast from home took to social media to heap praise on him.
NRL commentator Dan Ginnane said: “Win lose or draw that should be it for Gal. Would go out with pride and on his feet... Forget dreams of SBW. Terrific 2nd career. Go and be a commentator for the next 20 years”.
While boxing reporter Brendan Bradford tweeted: “Say what you want about Gallen, but that guy is outrageously tough. It’s insane”.
As journo Todd Balym added: “Paul Gallen admits age has finally caught up with him in boxing… four rounds later he fully won over the crowd. Great fight. Gotta respect his courage. Toughest man in Australian sport. But it’s time to retire”.
Paul Gallen is a beast. At 40 his engine is unrivalled. The definition of when the going gets tough the tough get going. Outboxed tonight but the longer it went Terzievski didn’t want a bar of it. If that’s it for Gal, he has been very entertaining in the ring #GallenvsTerzievski— Jake Duke (@JakeDuke1) May 11, 2022
At 40 years of age, the war with Terzievski could spell the end of Gallen's exciting boxing career.
From knocking out Mark Hunt and Lucas Browne to going toe-to-toe with Justis Huni, it's safe to say Gallen has had a fun run.
"A mate of mine, Pete Mitrevski, he told me out there, 'you don't get old in between fights, you get old in between rounds' and I felt it today," Gallen added.
"I felt it a couple of times in sparring, to be honest. I always had this ability to take the extra step and just go harder and harder and harder.
"I tried to put the foot on the accelerator in five, six and seven and I just couldn't.
"It wasn't until he got tired in round nine that I had him hurt but I just couldn't finish, to be honest."
Featured Image Credit: No Limit Boxing / Main Event
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