Gallen says he won't fight Sonny Bill Williams regardless of money

Paul Gallen is prepared to accept Justin Hodges’ challenge but is adamant that a fight with Sonny Bill Williams will never eventuate, even if the former All Black belatedly agrees to a 50-50 purse split.

Hodges again called out Gallen after winning a unanimous points decision against influencer Jordan Simi at the Hordern Pavilion on Wednesday night. The decision - all three judges scored it 40-36 in favour of the former footballer - was met with boos from the crowd, prompting the former Maroons centre to ask, “who won the Origin?”

In his post-bout speech, he said of a potential fight with Gallen: “He’s got a big head, I’ll knock his head off.”

Gallen didn’t witness the event live, but it’s unlikely he would have seen anything in Hodges’ performance to concern him. The former Sharks captain hinted at retirement after his last fight, a gutsy loss to Kris Terzievski, but has two fights remaining on his deal with promoters No Limit and plans to honour the agreement.

Gallen has no qualms about one of those fights being against Hodges, but said the long-awaited bout with Williams will not happen. The sticking point has been the purse split; Williams wants 60 per cent of the takings, while Gallen has always felt he was entitled to an even split. Even if “SBW” belatedly met his terms, the former NSW Origin captain still wouldn’t accept the fight.

“I only went into boxing for one thing, to make money. I’ve done that and a fight with Sonny is not going to change my life,” Gallen said.

“Maybe two or three years ago it might have, but not now. It’s not going to happen. I’ve been mentally over him for three or four months, ever since I spoke with [his advisor].

“I’m over it. The ship has sailed. I’m done with it. The likelihood of [an even purse split] even happening is a million to one.”

A fight against Hodges, which could be promoted along NSW-Queensland lines, is another matter.

“Leading into Origin - obviously Origin is a big beast and we all like to support our state - we had a bet to say whichever state won the series, the fight would be in that state,” Gallen said.

“I’m more than happy to and I don’t want to sound like I’m backing out of it, but it’s up to No Limit to decide where the fight goes. If he wants it, I’m happy to do it. I wouldn’t be taking it lightly. When it’s heavyweights, one punch can change everything.”

Given Gallen knocked out Darcy Lussick, who knocked out Hodges, the “G-Train” would be an overwhelming favourite.

Hodges secured his victory on the undercard of Nikita Tszyu’s unanimous points victory over Ben Horn. Tszyu defied doctors’ orders by going ahead in the “Battle of the Brothers”, revealing he underwent ear surgery just days before the event.

The bout - two years after Tim Tszyu earned a technical knockout victory over Jeff Horn to effectively end the career of “The Hornet” - was close and entertaining enough for both camps to consider the prospect of a rematch.