Junior Paulo has impressed ringside observers of his boxing training. Photo: Jay CronanCanberra behemoth Junior Paulo is looming as the most likely opponent for Paul Gallen as some of the biggest names in rugby league prepare to take their rivalries into the boxing ring.
The identity of Gallen’s foe for the upcoming footy charity fight night has been a heavily guarded secret. But it’s understood the forward enforcers will be the headline act in a series of bouts between NRL stars in Sydney on December 8.
Paulo and Gallen almost crossed paths a month ago when the Raiders met the Sharks in the opening week of the final series. The Cronulla captain had to sit out that encounter due to injury, instead watching on as his side won the match en route to their maiden premiership victory.
Paulo, considered one of the most intimidating forwards in the game, will have a chance to earn payback for the Green Machine when he laces up for his boxing debut. There is already bad blood between supporters of the teams after Canberra coach Ricky Stuart took exception to veteran hooker Michael Ennis’ mocking of the popular “Viking clap”.
Gallen will likely go into the encounter as the favourite after emerging undefeated from five professional bouts. The most recent was a technical knockout of Herman Ene Purcell in Toowoomba, Gallen’s second win over the Queensland bouncer.
While Gallen sees Paulo as a stepping stone towards his ultimate ambition of stepping into the ring against Sonny Bill Williams, those in the Paulo camp are confident of his chances. The former Parramatta prop has been training for the fight in recent weeks and those overseeing his preparation have been amazed by his power and agility.
Gallen has retired from State of Origin football, opening up a vacancy in the NSW forward pack. Paulo could become a contender to replace him in the Blues engine room if he can continue his rapid rise in the nation’s capital.
Paulo earned notoriety for a series of off-field incidents this year. The 22-year-old made headlines after donning headgear and secretly running out for Oatley third grade rugby. The Samoan international was also one of several NRL stars to be issued with a consorting notice for associating with criminals.
Parramatta forward Peni Terepo and former Eels halfback Chris Sandow are expected to be part of the footy fight card, although their opponents are yet to be confirmed.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.