Say what you want about Paul Gallen the boxer, the man knows how to sell a show.
Having hit a near inexhaustible vein of criticism for young heavyweight hot shot Justis Huni, Gallen found another issue to lash out at.
Watch Paul Gallen v Justis Huni on Main Event available on Foxtel and Kayo, Wednesday 16 June at 7pm AEST. ORDER NOW >
But at the weigh in on the eve of the highly-anticipated fight, Gallen took another shot, slamming Huni for missing a promotional opportunity with NRL 360 on Monday night.
“I’m glad Justis is here today, me and Jus have a responsibility to boxing to promote this fight and help promote the undercard fighters,” Gallen said.
“He was supposed to turn up to NRL 360 last night and didn’t. Again a no-show which is really disappointing. It’s an international platform I’m sure a lot of these fighters will want to get on, possibly Issac Hardman in the future.
“Really disappointing from my point of view. Great to see Jus here today though.”
Huni brushed off Gallen’s swipe and denied that the rugby league legend was in his head.
But speaking to media later on, Gallen took another swipe at the Australian heavyweight titleholder over his NRL 360 no-show.
“It’s really disappointing, it’s disgraceful,” Gallen told media. “I walked in my door at 9.30 last night and sure I was working but I was also cross-promoting this promotion and promoting Australian boxing.
“For him not to turn up there — he was happy to turn up to Queensland Origin team train sessions and flaunt himself there and get exposure there, doesn’t fly to Townsville because he wants to spar seven days out from the fight, couldn’t spar eight days out and make a sacrifice to promote the fight and support the Queensland Origin team.
“They just do whatever suits them and their behaviour is selfish and does nothing for Australian boxing.
“What’s Fox going to say to Dean Lonergan next time he asks for Isaac Hardman or Jai Opetaia to go on the card? I wouldn’t be putting them on. I wouldn’t be putting them on any of their programs. He’s got to understand he’s let down a lot of people not just himself on this fight card.”
Gallen said it’s another example that Huni can’t handle pressure.
But Huni and his team just appeared to brush the words off.
“It wasn’t told to me firmly, we did make dinner plans, I have family coming down so a lot of them had to travel a long way to be here for this event,” Huni told media. “So that’s pretty much all it was.”
Asked about Gallen’s claim that it was an example of not handling the pressure, Huni said: “He can say what he wants, I had plans and that’s that, it is what it is and if he’s got a problem with it then he can sort it out tomorrow night.”
Rocki added that it was a “miscommunication” because he believed NRL 360 hadn’t been locked in after doing Sunday Night with Matty Johns and had been blown out of proportion.
“At the end of the day, he’s (Gallen) getting 85 per cent, he’s getting the lion’s share of the deal, he’s going to do a lion’s share of the work,” Rocki said. “He’s the one that wants the money, go sell the fight.”
Gallen vs Huni undercard
Paul Gallen vs Justis Huni, 10 rounds for Australian heavyweight title
Issac Hardman vs Emmanuel Carlos, 10 rounds for Australian middleweight title
Andrei Mikhailovic vs Alex Hannan, eight rounds for Australasian featherweight title
Sam Goodman vs Nort Beauchamp, eight round super welterweight fight
How to watch the fight
Paul Gallen’s fight with Australian heavyweight champion Justis Huni will be available on Main Event pay per view for $59.95.
The fight will also be available on streaming platform Kayo, with pre-purchase currently available.
The coverage starts at 7pm Wednesday June 16.
Originally published as ‘Disrespectful’: Gallen’s final Huni jab