Hall can beat Gallen with one punch
AFL legend Barry Hall sparred six furious rounds with two of Australia's best boxers and they both declared he could beat Paul Gallen next week with just one punch.
The left jab.
After 289 games in the AFL top grade, the former premiership-winning captain of the Sydney Swans makes his professional boxing debut on November 15 against Gallen, a premiership-winning Cronulla Sharks rugby league skipper and one of the heaviest punchers in Australia.
Hall has stipulated that the fight be contested over six two-minute rounds, rather than three-minute rounds which will suit the AFL great's speed, making the "Code War'' bout a sprint rather than a long, gruelling slog.
On Wednesday, Hall showed why his supporters believe he can defy the odds and repel Gallen's bulldozing style.
He estimates he has sparred 50 rounds with Kingscliff cruiserweight Nick Midgley and the 42-year-old Hall yesterday boxed three rounds each with Australian cruiserweight champ Daniel Russell and former champ Ben Kelleher at his hideaway gym secreted in lush rainforest at Cudgen in northern NSW.
Hall spent most of the sparring session using his telescopic left jab against the two top-class opponents but used one round to mix it up in close in anticipation of Gallen's bustling attacks.
Toward the end of the final round of sparring, Hall practised explosive right uppercuts against Russell like the punch he plans to detonate on Gallen at the Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne.
Russell and Kelleher were impressed, especially since Hall will be entering the ring for the first time since he enjoyed a brief amateur career almost 30 years ago.
"Barry can beat Gallen with the jab alone,'' said Russell, who defends his national 90kg title against Olympian Jason Whateley next month. "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.''
Kelleher, who won the IBF Pan Pacific cruiserweight title against American Patrick Ferguson in June, described Hall's talent as "awesome''.
"Barry has been sparring brilliantly. He's hard to hit and he has a tremendous reach advantage over Gallen. I've really been impressed with the talent he's shown in training. For a big guy he's incredibly fast and he is always thinking in the ring, setting traps.''
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